Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I've begun preparing for the New Year. My first workshop is scheduled for the 3rd and we are leaving Christmas and Winter behind. If only it were THAT easy to leave Winter - but at least we can in our cards.

This is one of the cards that I will be demo'ing on Saturday. It is a CASE of a card on Splitcoaststampers. I loved the layout and the beautiful colors Ibirus used - but I changed it up by changing the papers, stamp sets, ribbon and bow placement.

All products used are Stampin'Up! DP is Bella Rose, Cardstock: Riding Hood Red, Pirouette Pink, Old Olive. Ribbon: Old Olive Grosgrain. Stamp Set: Bloomin' Beautiful. I also used the Top Notes Bigz Die with my Big Shot and trimmed around the scored area to achieve the double layer.

I received so many beautiful handmade cards for Christmas that it would be impossible to share them all - so I picked the first 5 I received to share here.

The first one I received is from my niece, Alanna Weishaupt. The inside featured a photo of her two beautiful daughters, Annabelle and Aubrey.

The next is from my friend, Sarah Johnson. I love that she put the verse on the FRONT of her card to make it the focus of the card. The antiqued parchment look really makes this a favorite for me.

My nephew, Joseph, and his wife, Katie, welcomed their own Christmas Blessing this year: Layla Ann Hersemann. The addition of their family photo next to the Holy Family reinforces to me that Jesus, while 100% divine, was also 100% human and that his birth was a joyous event then and now.

Isn't this the cutest little snowman???? I am a snowman FANATIC and this guy looks so happy - and a bit mischeivious. Doesn't it look like he's throwing snow everywhere???

This card was made by my newest friend, Gloria Williams.

And last but certainly not least is this card created by my oldest (not in age but in time) friend, Cindy Christensen - who may NOT be speaking to me as I convinced her to stamp and CUT-OUT all the cross/baby combinations for each of her cards. She only makes A HUNDRED so I don't know what all the fuss is about!!!! LOL!

Thank you to all who sent Christmas Greetings - whether handmade or storebought. I appreciated the thoughtfulness of the sentiment in each and every one.
Have a good day today and be careful if you are out and about tonight.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


My new SU! stamp sets arrived yesterday and I got a few minutes to play with them this afternoon. I LOVE both sets! One is a 2nd level hostess set and the other is a for purchase set - both being offered in the upcoming Spring/Summer 2009 Catalog.

I fell in love with this set! How cute are these little fellas???? I stamped the bees on Creamy Caramel, colored them with markers and a Gel Pen - them stamped them a second time on Whisper White, cut out the bodies on two of them and the body and wings on the one in the upper right. The wings on this one are folded out to make them 3 dimensional and all have a light coating of stardust stickles to make them sparkle.

This little honey jar and greeting are stamped on the inside of the card. I just LOVE this set!!!!!

This card is made with the hostess set. It is a two-step stamping flower (though I did not use it in this manner), flower buds, leaves, hummingbird and small flower. It has hundreds of possibilities for use - but I tried to keep it fairly simple and just used the outline flower - stamped it three times, cut two out and popped the layers up with dimensionals. I'm not happy with the background treatment - I wanted a distressed, grungy look - but it didn't quite turn out as I envisioned.

That's it for now. Hope you enjoyed the sneak peek of a couple of the new stamp sets.


Friday, December 19, 2008


Who knew husbands could be creative geniuses??? My dh usually spends his downtime in his recliner, tv on, sawing logs - and is in no fit state to be creative. Not a couple of nights ago though. He was busily working away all day and evening in the basement. Last night while I was tidying up the house so I could get right to my playtime after dinner John (my hubby) came up from the basement carrying THIS!
John is from the Middle East - near where Jesus was actually born - and takes exception to our little wooden stables that we use here in the U.S.A. to display our nativity scenes at Christmas. Structures over in that area were NEVER made of wood and in that time period stables AND houses were often carved right into the mountain side or made of the white stone common in that part of the world. Therefore, I now have this wonderful cave to display my nativity! What do you think of it? I LOVE IT!!!!

I have been busy trying to re-package edible gifts that I've picked up for Christmas gifts. Store packaging is usually so UGLY - and besides - its fun to devise ways to make them look better! This particular box contains yummy Butter Fudge that will be going to one of my husband's brothers.


SU! Holiday Treasures Designer Paper

SU! Old Olive Card Stock

Tan Linen Card Stock from Hobby Lobby

SU! Chocolate Chip Card Stock

SU! Very Vanilla Card Stock

Diamond Dust

Stardust Stickles

1/2 Pearl

Brown 1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon

Cuddlebug Snowflake Die

Martha Stewart Branch Punch

Martha Stewart Snowflake Punch

Greeting - SU! Season of Joy

Chocolate Chip Ink

Sponged - Close to Cocoa

White Gel Pen

Thanks for visiting - and a special thank you to all TEN of you who subscribed to my blog this week!!! How exciting for me!!!

Remember - whether you say Merry Christmas or simply Happy Holiday - there would be no holiday to celebrate on December 25th if not for the birth of Christ. It would simply be just another day. HE is the reason for the season.


Sunday, December 14, 2008


I was looking through the Splitcoaststampers gallery today and came across the sweetest little Santa Treat Box by Samantha Parisi! I've been trying to come up with an idea for cute little Christmas favors for my nieces and nephews and thought these boxes would be perfect! Once filled with candies, toys, money etc they can be hung from the Christmas tree as ornaments. One for each of the kiddos pretty much fills my 4ft tree. LOL!

Red,White,Black,Blush, & Gold Cardstock
Sticky Strip
Papercutter with Scoring Blade
1/8" hole punch or Crop-a-dile
Sponge Dauber
Regal Rose Ink Pad
Cuttlebug Embossing Folder & Die Cut Machine
SU!Scalloped Circle Punch
SU! Word Window Punch
1 1/2" Circle Punch
1 1/4" Circle Punch
3/4" Circle Punch
1/4" Circle Punch
White Gel Pen
Small Gold Jingle Bell, White Pom-Pom & White Holiday Twine

1. Cut red cardstock to 4.25" x 11". With a pencil mark the middle (2 1/8') of each 4.25" end.

2. Score at 5 1/2" lengthwise.

3. Line up the pencil mark on the short side with the middle of the long side. Score along this line. Repeat on all four sides.

4. Fold along all score lines keeping pencil marks to the inside. Lay the piece lengthwise in front of you. Apply sticky strip to the top-left and bottom-left sides of the piece as shown. Adhere the box together by folding in the middle and bringing the sides together.

5. Using a 1/8" hole punch, punch a hole on each side approximately 1/4" down from the top.

6. Emboss a 3.5"x 3.5" piece of white cardstock using the Cuttlebug embossing folder. Punch a scalloped circle for Santa's beard, and a hat band using the Word Window punch. Keep the remainder of the embossed cardstock to make Santa's mustache.

7. Since I didn't have a punch that would work for Santa's Mustache I made a template by folding a 3/4"x 2" piece of cardstock in half lengthwise and drawing a leaf shape from corner to corner against the fold. Cut along the lines to create your template then trace around the template on the back of the scrap of embossed white from creating Santa's beard and hat band. Cut out Santa's Mustache. Punch a 1 1/2" circle and a 3/4" circle (or 1/2" circle for a smaller nose like on the box shown at bottom of post) from Blush Cardstock and punch two 1/4" circles from Black cardstock.

8. Using a sponge dauber and Regal Rose Ink Pad, create cheeks on the largest Blush Blossom circle and lightly sponge the edge of the smallest Blush Blossom circle.

9. Assemble all the punched pieces as shown in the photo on the left and trim off the top of the Blush Blossom circle that shows above Santa's hat band.

10. Add catchlights to Santa's eyes using a white gel pen.

11. Place Santa's face so that the edges of his hat band meet the edges of the triangle box.

12. Cut a 1/4"x4.25" strip from Black cardstock. Adhere it onto the triangle box leaving more hanging from one side than the other. Trim both sides to the edge of the box. KEEP THE LARGEST PIECE OF BLACK SCRAP. You will use this to create Santa's belt buckle.

13. Cut a 1/2" square from gold (or yellow) cardstock. Trim the 1/4" scrap piece of black created from step 12 above to make it square and adhere to the center of the gold square. Place the buckle in the middle of Santa's belt being careful to line up the upper and bottom edges so that the belt looks as if it continues through the belt buckle.

14. Gently squeeze open the top of the box and fill with candies, money, small gifts etc. Run a piece of holiday twine through the holes and tie the top closed then tie the top of the twine to create a loop for hanging.

15. Tie on a gold jingle bell, add a pom-pom and hang him on your tree! Isn't he adorable?????

Thanks Samantha for the inspiration. I hope you all have fun having Santa visit your house during the holidays.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoy the tutorial.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I made this card out of the pits and pieces of scraps laying on my desktop. Some of you might think "it looks like it!" - and while I admit the colors ARE a bit much - somehow it still seems to work! Besides - how can you really go wrong with icy snowflakes????

The design is a sketch challenge on Splitcoaststampers today - which when I first looked at it reminded me of a stoplight! (I still haven't discarded THAT idea completely!!!!) My particular card took shape when I gathered up a scrap piece of Stampin'Up! Holiday Treasures Designer Paper and took note of the shapes and colors. I had used Taken With Teal just last night and there was just the slightest edging of baja breeze in the DP and as I learned last night - Taken with Teal harmonizes beautifully with the Baja Breeze. There is also Red in the DP - and I used Real Red on my card from last night so I had scraps of that color on my desk as well. The only color I actually had to dig out was the Old Olive to match the backside of the DP.
I punched three snowflakes using the Martha Stewart snowflake punch, added adhesive and dipped in Diamond Dust. To finish the snowflake, I added a half-pearl to the center. Then added white dots all around in the tradition of Faith Hofrichter - her work is AMAZING.

Not my usual style for sure - but definitely a fun card to create!!!!

Thanks for visiting and feel free to comment. Just remember to be kind in your criticisms!!!! :)


Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Today's color challenge on Splitcoaststampers was a toughie for me today. Who in their right mind uses Taken with Teal, Baja Breeze, Real Red and White together???? Ugh! Gag me! Not to be defeated by a simple color challenge I pulled out all the colors and immediately decided the key was to accent only with the bright colors and make the bulk of the card the more subtle Baja and White. Those two colors reminded me of a Winter's day - but I have made enough Christmas Cards this year - so what else could I use. Birthday? No - not in the mood. Animals? No - not the right colors. Wedding? Red and Teal on a wedding card? Why not give it a go?

I used a wedding set I purchased off the internet as well as SU! Holiday Tag Time (dove) and SU! Seasons of Joy (swirls). White Craft Ink and White embossing powder. Martha Stewart scalloped punch , white ribbon and a Signo White Gel Pen.

Can you see the Real Red? The Taken with Teal? They are there - but ALMOST invisible.

Hope you enjoyed visiting today and be careful if you are out and about. The weather is terrible (at least in East Peoria, Illinois).


Thursday, December 4, 2008


WooHoo! I've actually comleted Day Four of the 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS on Day Four!!!!! Miracles never cease!!!! (While it is true that God still performs miracles all the time - I don't REALLY consider this a true miracle you know?!?) Anyway - back to the subject at hand - today's challenge was to create a gift card set (cards and container).

My sister bought this rooster stamp set several years ago. She loves roosters/chickens and she loves to color - however after purchasing several stamp sets she realized she DOESN'T love making cards!!! So I inherited this set. Since Christmas is right around the corner, the economy is bad and funds are tight, I decided what better time to gift her with greeting cards from her own unused stamp set!!!! In addition to 8 of the greeting cards, the box will also contain 8 - 3x3 gift cards with a lovely little hen on the front of them and some gift tags with some adorable little chicks.

Stampin'Up! Stamp Sets: Holidays & Wishes; Itty Bitty Backgrounds; Name of Rooster set is unknown because sistah threw away the label.!!!
Papers & CardStock: SU Bravo Burgundy; Watercolor paper, Others are from Hobby Lobby
Ink: Stazon Jet Black for Rooster; Chocolate Chip for Greeting, Close to Cocoa for sponging; Creamy Caramel for dots.
Accessories: Burgundy Buttons, Brown Ric-Rak, Twine
Markers: SU Ruby Red, Real Rust, Creamy Caramel, Close to Cocoa, So Saffron, Handsome Hunter, Garden Green

Hope you enjoyed your visit today. Don't forget to check out the challenges and the blog candy being offered during this 12 days of Christmas party. The ladies have some really great stuff to give away and their handiwork is awesome!!!!



There is a party going on - the 12 Days of Christmas - and it is proving to be a lot of fun with a group of very talented ladies. In celebration of her 1 millionth visitor to her blog, Sharon Johnson
and several of her friends are hosting an online party. Each day anyone who visits has a chance to win some fantastic blog candy (in this case stamp sets, accessories, etc) just by leaving a comment on a blog and is invited to play along with the challenges. There are two different sites offering prizes each day. This is Day 4 of the party - but since I don't get to play along until evening - my posts are always from the previous day.

Day Three's challenge was hosted by Tammy Herschberger. The challenge was to create a card that can be mass produced in a short amount of time. My card for this challenge takes about 4-5 minutes to create. All 8 were created in 42 minutes - with some of the time hopping up to run to my craft room to grab an item I forgot to bring out to the dining room table (e.g. ink pad, stamp etc.).

Supplies Used:
Big Shot
Cuttlebug Snowflake Die
Cuttlebug Snow Dots Embossing Folder
Cuttlebug Swiss Dots Embossing Folder
Whisper White Card Stock
Bashful Blue Card Stock
The Paper Studio Gemstone
Fiskars cutter with scoring blade
Savvy Stamps Greeting Stamp
Stampin'Up! Bashful Blue InkPad

I had originally intended to use a light blue ribbon adorned with snowflakes just above the greeting - but the blues didn't match so instead I added two embossed stripes. You can just make them out in the photo. If I make more of these I will use Bordering Blue so that I can use the ribbon - I think it will give the cards a little added "POP".
Thanks for visiting today. If you have time check out the links and come join the party - you might even win some blog candy! Wouldn't that be fun!!!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


There's a funny story behind the tasty cookies hidden inside this treat bag. It goes like this:
We had our office Christmas party last night. There were 7 of us and each of us brought our own "prepared ahead of time" cookie dough so that we could bake cookies and then have a cookie exchange. We were to plan on 6 cookies for each person. I made snikerdoodles. I love them!!! Two of the girls made Chocolate chip cookies, 2 made Buckeyes or Peanut Butter Balls as one of the girls called them, 1 made orange spritz and the other made traditional sugar cookie cut-outs.

There is a challenge called the 12 days of Christmas I wanted to participate in and the first day is to find your favorite cookie recipe - bake the cookies - create a nice little package to hold them then take a pic and post to your blog or your Splitcoast Gallery. Perfect. I would use my Snickerdoodles recipe.

Then came the 50 minute drive home. In the first 10 minutes I ate a Snickerdoodle. In the next 10 minutes another, in the next 10 another and in the next ...well you get the picture I'm sure. I promise I only ate 4 Snickerdoodles - but somehow my pan only HAD 4 Snickerdoodles!!!!

So what to do ... how about using the Buckeyes that one of the other girls made. I LOVE THESE TOO! Of course by the time I got home from the Christmas party last night it was too late to create my treat container - so I thought about it all day at work today. Psyched and ready to go when I got home I headed straight for my cookie/candy tin. WHAT!!!! Apparently Mr. Diabetic husband and HIS son found my cookie tin!!! No Buckeyes, No Snickerdoodles, only a couple of Snowflake sugar cookies, one orange spritz cookie and a dozen Chocolate Chip cookies!!!

So guess what kind of cookies are hiding in my treat bag???? You guessed'er Chester - Chocolate Chip! I hope that Janine will take pity and still let me play along!

Here is my recipe for the Snickerdoodles:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls.
Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes until tops split. Remove immediately from baking sheets onto cooling racks.

Give them a try girls - THEY ARE DELICIOUS!!!!
Thanks for visiting today and make sure to check out the other cookie creations and the other 12 days of Christmas posts at the Splitcoaststampers Gallery. Mmmmm - mmmm good!

Sunday, November 30, 2008


WOW! Was I surprised when I woke up this morning! I hadn't heard the forecast in the past several days -and Thanksgiving was a sultry 50 degrees here in East Peoria - so to wake up and see the snow all around was a shocker! But since I have nowhere I have to be today and since I LOVE snow - it was a wonderful surprise.

I know I said yesterday that I had posted my last Christmas card of the season - but I lied! When I finished inserting all my cards into the envelopes, I realized I had seven addressed envelopes but no cards to go in them. Somehow I miscounted and still needed to create 7 cards. Looking out my window at the falling snow was all the inspiration I needed. I grabbed my camera, opened the back door and stood there in the doorway - barefoot and sleeveless in the falling snow - and shot a scene from my backyard. I resized the photo, converted it to black and white and added a Christmas Greeting in Photoshop, printed out 7 copies and layered them onto designer paper and white cardstock. Punched out a few snowfakes, stamped the inside and created 7 cards to fill the empty envelopes.

Once the stickles dries I can finish sealing the envelopes and Christmas Cards 2008 will be finished. Maybe now is a good time to begin Christmas 2009! LOL!!!!

Thanks for visiting today. Snuggle down, stay warm and get creative.


Saturday, November 29, 2008


Well this is it girls. The final card that I will be posting - Christmas Card that is. Thanks to the long Holiday from work I was able to complete the rest of my Christmas cards last night and will be addressing them today for mailing.

First, let me apologize up front for the color of this photo. My camera just couldn't capture the true color. It is much more rich looking IRL.

This is a fairly simple card to create - though there is a little time involved in making the layered snowflake. I got the idea for the snowflake from Anna Wight, a wonderfully creative stamper. You can check out the inspiration snowflake here. IT IS GORGEOUS!!!!!

Light tan linen - Hobby Lobby
Very Vanilla - Stampin'Up!
Bravo Burgundy - Stampin'Up!

Merry Christmas - MSE - CC115
Inside Greeting - Stampabilities - GR1143

Branch - Martha Stewart
Small Snowflake - Martha Stewart
Stampin'Up! Snowflake Die

Stardust Stickles

To create the snowflake I die cut a snowflake from Very Vanilla using the Stampin'Up! Snowflake and the BigShot then punched six branches, sponged them with Bravo Burgundy and adhered them to the back of the Stampin'Up! Snowflake die. I added Stardust Stickles to the VV snowflake because I don't have any of the crushed glass glitter, then used a dimensional to pop up the small Martha Stewart Snowflake which was also sponged in Bravo Burgundy. Stardust Stickles was added to this layer as well. The button is tied with twine and glued to the center of the completed snowflake.

The Stampin'Up! Mat Pack and piercing tool were used to evenly space the holes around the snowflake and the sentiment was stamped in Bravo Burgundy. Not shown is the inside greeting which says: "May the glory of Christ's birth bring you joy and hope at Christmas time and always."

Those of you coming to the Christmas Craft and Pizza Party next Saturday will have a chance to create two of these snowflakes for your projects.

Thanks for visiting and remember to take a little time to play today.


Just a side note - when you are out in the stores this holiday season make it a point to be patient, gracious and kind. May God's grace and comfort be with the family of the Walmart employee who lost his life due to impatience, selfishness and greed. I'm sure our Lord must be deeply saddened that the celebration of his birth has turned into this feeding frenzy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I ADORE SNOWMEN! Fat ones, skinny ones, frozen ones, melty ones - there is nothing cuter to be found in Winter than snowmen (unless of course it's babies all bundled up with their rosy red cheeks!) So when I saw this ornament on the web I knew I had to re-create it! I made several of these last year and gave them away for gifts - and though this little gal isn't the best of the lot (the paint is speckled) she is still a keeper in my book.

I've been trying to decide what the keepsake gift project will be at my class on the 6th of December. I thought we were making candy jars covered in snowflakes and filled with peppermints and cinnamon candies - but I am so partial to these ornaments - I'm having a hard time making up my mind! Maybe I'll save these guys for next year though since I've already purchased the jars and some of the candies. There is also the stamped candle idea.

I made this one last year for a practice run. I love the soft feminine feel of it. Of course if I were to have a class teaching this technique we would be using Christmas stamps and colors. Hmmmm! Decisions, decisions. Maybe I should put it to a vote.

What do you think ladies. If you are/were coming to the class which item would you prefer to make. The snowman ornament, the candy jar or the candle????

Thanks for visiting - enjoy your Thanksgiving - and remember to take time to give thanks for all the blessings in your life.

*** Edit to post: I've had requests for the directions to make the snowman ornament so here goes:
One Glass Ornament -
remove top clip and pour in white paint. Swirl it around until it covers the entire inside of the ornament. Dip upside down on a paper cup to drain and let dry. BE PATIENT otherwise you get the mottled effect like I did. Obviously patience is NOT one of my virtures! You may have to repeat this with a second coating to get good opaque coverage.

While this is drying you can create the nose and hat.
For the nose use a small piece of orange jeweler's wire and wrap around the tip of a pencil to get the cone shape. Then flatten the bottom.
For the hat, cut the toe portion off of an infant's sock and cut into the foot creating the fringe around the top.

Once the ornament is dry, reinsert the clip and tie a ribbon to the hanger. Arrange and hot-glue the sock band in place around the ornament then wrap and tie the fringe around the hanger ribbon with matching ribbon. Draw the face with Sharpie Permanent Markers and hot glue the nose into place.

Voila! One very cute little snowman or snowgirl.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I left off Friday's post with the delivery of my SU! order by the UPS man. The shipment arrived in full and intact and I was pleasantly surprised to realize I had ordered three stamp sets - not just one. The one I was most excited about however is Nature Silhouettes. I have wanted this stamp set since the new catty came out and I knew EXACTLY how I was going to create a card with it. I envisioned a beautiful sunset in golds and oranges with the deer standing regally in front of a line of tall pine trees. The photo of the card is at the bottom of the post - BUT PLEASE KEEP READING you've got to hear this story!

I quickly mounted the deer stamp to the wood block (don't we love the new die cut stamp sets????) and set it aside while I created the background. First I cut a piece of glossy card stock to fit the front of my card. Then I inked up my brayer with Summer Sun, More Mustard and Pumpkin Pie and ran it back and forth across the card stock and VOILA! A TOTAL MESS!!!! I thought I had cleaned all the dust off the brayer (which hasn't been used in more than a year) but there were dust bunnies and fibers ALL OVER the paper - and they wouldn't come off! Worse than that my brayering looked like a beginner and we just can't have that! An SU! demonstrator should know how to brayer. The ink just "stuck" to the glossy surface and wouldn't move. What's up with that????

Okay - into the circular file. Obviously brayering is not my forte. Let's try sponging - I'm pretty good at sponging. I decided to change the look completely at this point and create a winter scene. I cut a second small piece of glossy card stock from the same 8.5x11 sheet I used earlier, pulled out my sponge, Not Quite Navy Inkpad and set out to work. It started out okay as I lightly dobbed the ink onto the paper - but the more I dobbed the sponge began sticking to the surface. Then - the surface of the paper actually began lifting off in areas. This was becoming as BIG A MESS as the brayering. Into the circular file???? Definitely not! I will NOT be defeated by a piece of glossy cardstock!
I stopped sponging and decided to try 'hiding' most of the disastorous sky with a line of tall pines from "Lovely as a Tree". I used Night of Navy and stamped the first tree. Hey - this might just work. Without reinking I stamped the next tree to the right, lifted the stamp and half the branches 'lifted off' the surface of the paper leaving bare white spots. WHAT IS GOING ON???? Keep going - maybe it will just look like snow on the branches. I finished sponging the line of trees and it looked decent enough to continue. All I needed to do now was stamp the deer in Night of Navy and I could then put the card together.
I stamped the deer - oooops - a new silhouette stamp - forgot to rough it up a bit - half the deer didn't stamp. I reinked at this point - decided so what if I can't hit the deer a second time - I'm throwing this away anyway - and what do you know - RIGHT ON TARGET! His body was a little lighter in the middle so I colored him in with Night of Navy marker. This really wasn't looking to bad by this point - but I wanted to add a little bit of glitter for falling snow - so using a glue pad and little dots from the Itty Bitty Backgrounds I made the snow dots and the applied SU! Diamond Dust glitter. When I shook off the excess - NOTHING SHOOK OFF. The entire surface of the card was sticky and the glitter "stuck" everywhere. I ended up using a soft paint brush to remove as much of the excess as I could.

It wasn't until I turned the piece over to apply adhesive that the reason for all my sticky problems became clear. Instead of using SU! Glossy White cardstock I had grabbled up a piece of my Kodak Glossy Photographic paper!!!! Just for the record, you cannot brayer or sponge successfully on photo paper. It becomes a sticky mess. LOL! I was so happy to finally realize I wasn't losing my touch - only my MIND!!!!
This is the final creation from all that turmoil. I actually LIKE the way it turned out - but I certainly don't think I could recreate it on purpose!

Thanks for visiting and being patient enough to read this long account. Maybe you can all learn from my mistake and save yourself some time and trouble.


Friday, November 14, 2008


I'm getting VERY nervous. The UPS tracking info says my shipment went out from East Peoria for delivery this morning at 5:06. My deliveries are usually here when I arrive home from work - but nothing yet and it's 5:15. Even more worrisome than that is the Brown truck has made several passes down the road beside my house today (I know this because I am home sick today) - even once at the normal delivery time of 3:30. But did he stop - oh no - just pulled onto the side road, drove down to the first pull through and headed back the way he came. That doesn't seem very efficient to me does it to you???? This from the company that reroutes their trucks to avoid left-hand turns to save gas?

So anyway - that's about enough whining here.

Let me show you what I have accomplished this past hour waiting for the man in brown to show.

I know you're shocked. ANOTHER Christmas card! Here's the thing though - I've been making so many I was sure I had almost enough to fill my Card List. Then I counted. Lets see? Hmmmm. I need 67. I've made 1 2, 3, way this can be right!!! Only 27 Christmas cards???? I was sure I'd made enough to have some left for next year. But a recount showed it to be true. Gee - only 40 more to make. I should get those done in no time. NOT!

This card was made from scraps I had laying around on my desk from previous cards which is why it is not an even 1/8" border of green all around the overlay.

Tools Used: Aqua Painter, MS Scalloped Border Punch, MS Branch Punch, 1/16" hole punch, BigShot, Oval Nestabilities, Heat Gun.
Accessories: Gold Ribbon, Red Brads, Gold Stickles, Gold Embossing Powder, Dimensionals, SU Stampin Write Markers: Bravo Burgundy, Ruby Red, Always Artichoke and Mellow Moss.

Paper & Cardstock: Hobby Lobby Plaid, SU Whisper White, SU Always Artichoke, SU Ruby Red and WCPaper.

Hey - guess who just arrived??? Yep- the man in brown. I'm off to unpack and maybe get to play with a new stamp set or two.

Thanks for visiting and if you need the details just let me know.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Martha Stewart Items on Sale at Michaels

Just thought you might be interested to know that Martha Stewart Scrapping & Stamping Supplies are 30% off at Michaels. I picked up the branch punch tonight and thought it would make great holly sprigs and couldn't wait to try it out.

I created the scalloped border with another Martha punch I picked up at Wally World (aka Walmart) then used the Cuttlebug Swiss Dots embossing folder with my Big Shot to create the dotted background. Next I punched 6 branches 3 in Certainly Celery and 3 from Garden Green cardstock, ran them through my XYRON and adhered 3 in each of the upper corners. I used glitter brads I picked up at Hobby Lobby to make the berries. I LOVED the card up to this point. From here on out I struggled.

I knew I wanted the oval backed by the Bravo Burgundy Scalloped Oval. The problem was none of the Christmas images I own was elegant enough to fit the card. The ones that fit in the oval were too cutesy or homespun and the ones that were the right image were too large! UGH! So frustrating!!!!

As you can see I decided on a greeting and stamped it off center in the oval in Bravo Burgundy. I then stamped a snowflake in my gluepad and then over the image so that I could add some Diamond Dust glitter for a bit of glitz. To finish I created a holly spray from the branch punch and brads and added it to the oval.

My next mission is to find a beautiful Christmas stamp to fit the oval so I can try this again. Next time I am planning on positioning the holly spray in the bottom left of the oval . This image looks a little top heavy to me.

That's it for today. Thanks for visiting and as always feel free to leave a comment or email me with suggestions for future tutorials or techniques you would like to see featured.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008


A few of you asked for a tutorial on my watercoloring technique. I'm sure there are different ways of doing this - and that the "professionals" would probably cringe at the way I do this - but this is the way I know how to achieve the results I want.

This is the card I created with the image I watercolored for this tutorial. I might have gone a "little" overboard with the brads but even numbers didn't work and three to a side was too bare. The scalloped border was created with a Martha Stewart punch from Walmart.

The most important tools to my watering coloring technique are 140# Watercolor paper, Stazon Black Ink, a good stamp, SU Markers, Aqua Painter and Ink Pads (not shown). There is also a Copic marker which I use for skin tones because I haven't found an SU marker that gives a pleasing tone for skin. I am using a stamp from the SU! set "Summer by the Sea".
First, stamp your image using Black Stazon ink onto the wc paper.

I like to start my coloring at the top of my image and work to the bottom. When the paper gets wet this prevents your hand from accidentally sitting in the wet ink and smearing it into other areas.
The most important thing to determine to make your shading look real is to determine where your light source will be. For this image I've decided the sun is directly overhead which will make the top of the hat the lightest point.

So I began there. I chose two coordinating shades of marker - one darker for the shadows and a lighter shade to create the "color". Using More Mustard I started at the brim of the hat and colored a line at the base. It is best to work in small sections so that the ink remains wet. This helps the blending process.

Next I used So Saffron, coloring over the More Mustard and pulling it up into the crown of the hat. Leave a little white space at the top to produce the highlight the sun would naturally produce. You will pick up some of the darker color on the tip of your lighter marker. This is normal and will NOT permanently damage your markers. I do this ALL the time. After you finish blending the colors, simply color off the darker color onto scrap paper.

Using an aquapainter, squeeze a water bead into the bristles and blend the colors upward into the crown of the hat. Your colors will be blended with the darkest shade near crown and the lightest shade at the top.

If you can picture how the sunlight would naturally fall there would be a shadow below the ribbon on the hat with the color getting light towards the brim. I added a band of More Mustard below the ribbon then blended with So Saffron pulling the shading downward toward the brim of the hat leaving a little white space on the rim. Then I used the aquapainter to blend the colors giving the watercolored look to the image.

I worked on the dress next. The nice thing about coloring stamped images is that the artist has taken alot of the guesswork about where the shadows should go. Wherever there is a line, or dotted shading add some of your darker color. In this example I am using Brocade Blue to create the shadows.

Next I used Bashful Blue blend and color the dress. Because the sunlight is falling from directly above the subject the upper portion of her dress would be partially shadowed from her hat and getting lighter toward the bottom.

Here is the image with the Bashful Blue applied. You will notice I shaded more below her arm and under her chin and then left alot of white space on the bottom of her dress. This is where the light would naturally produce shadows and highlights.

To blend and achieve a "washed out" look to the dress I squeezed a large bead of water directly onto the dress and began blending as the colors started to run.

When I am shading and highlighting a part of the image that would be white (such as her blouse) I use Bashful Blue to trace the lines produced by the stamp. If you think of sunlight on snow the color of the shadow is usually blue - unless of course it is dirty snow then it's grey - but I prefer clean snow and clean whites. So I choose blue.

Do not apply water to these lines as you will color your white blouse a light blue.

For the ground I started off adding Close to Cocoa in areas that might have shadow. I basically just randomly placed ink along the lines of the image.

Next I used Creamy Caramel to blend making sure to leave white space for highlights.

I pulled the color from the Handsome Hunter Inkpad into it's lide for a quick palette. Then saturated the ground area with clear water using the aqua painter.

I made a pool of runny Handsome Hunter ink by adding a drop of water from the aqua painter then applied it as a wash to the wet ground of the image.

This is what the ground looks like at this point.

At this point I was ready create the sky with a Brocade Blue wash. It is very important to make sure that all of the Handsome Hunter was out of the bristles of the aqua painter so I simply painted a blotter until the water ran clean.

Somehow I missed a shot of this next step - but it is very easy to explain. To give the main image a little depth I outlined the image in Bashful Blue.

Next I used the aqua painted to wash out the shadow created with the Bashful Blue then I "painted" the entire sky area with water from the aqua painter making sure to completely saturate the paper. You notice in the picture that the paper has begun to curl. That is a GOOD thing when trying to produce a wash. I used a Brocade Blue Ink pad and pulled some of the ink into the lid - once again using the lid as a palette. For this wash however I did NOT apply a bead of water to the ink. I picked it up full strength then squeezed the aqua painter directly over the paper. As the ink and water mixed on the paper I lightly blended the color creating the sky. One squeeze will not create the entire sky however so you will need to repeat this step in sections of the sky.

While the paper was damp (not wet) I added some Always Artichoke Marker to the ground to create the grass and then washed it with bead of water from the aqua painter. A little Regal Rose wasadded to the flowers and butterflies.

Because the human eye is drawn to the lighter points of an image it is important to create a vignette effect to draw the eye to the image rather than the light space around it. To create the vignette I sponged Night of Navy ink to the edges of the damp wc paper. Concentrating more color in the corner than the edges.

Here is the finished watercolored image.

As I said at the beginning, there are many techniques that you can use to color your image. There really is no right or wrong way - it's just a matter of preference. The key is to try it. Practice the different techniques until you find the one that works best for you.

I hope that you found this helpful and that you have been inspired to give it a go for yourself.