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.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Titles are the most difficult part of blogging - sorry!

In my last post I mentioned I thought the adorable Hanglar Stanglar images would make a nice series to adorn my craftroom wall - so I ended up enlarging them on the computer so I could make a nice 5x7 framed image of each one. After doing that I decided that just 4 of the images to represent the seasons would be enough and found three that were perfect for Spring, Summer and Winter. Autumn was a little trickier though - so with some photoshop fun I added a pumpkin to the wagon of one of the images and made my Autumn image.

Each one is colored using Stampin'Up Markers, an aqua painter and 140# watercolor paper. Since the images are computer generated on the watercolor paper I had to let them dry for about 15 minutes before coloring so the black ink wouldn't smear.

Since I really didn't plan to post these images I needed to make a card that would go together quickly. (This is the K.I.S.S. part of the title.)This card was created in about 10 minutes. I used the iris image from SU! Long Stemmed and stamped it on watercolor paper using black Stazon ink. I painted the image using SU! markers and an aqua painter, trimmed it to size, mounted it on Orchid Opulence then attached it to the front of a celery-green linen card base. The card was purchased several years ago in a card/envelope set from JoAnn's. The last step was to stamp "wish" from the SU! set "Small Script" in orchid opulence below the image. Quick, easy but pretty.

Thanks for visiting today.


Sunday, November 9, 2008


I was apparently in a mood to color yesterday because I colored 5 of the cutest little images from Hanglar Stanglar and even managed to use 4 of the images to create Christmas cards. I love these little people!

This one is my favorite. Here coat and skirt look like red velvet IRL. She was originally holding a champage flute - but a little magic and VOILA! she's now a Christmas bell ringer.

This little lady would make the sweetest little "Thinking of You" card for someone with a wounded heart. That little patchwork heart she is carrying could easily be colored to make Bandaids across the bottom.

And this one is absolutely adorable. She is sitting on an old piece of burlap/straw type of material. I can just see her as an onlooker to a nativity pageant.

I had to add a bit of bling to her once I added the snowflake. The snowflake just called out for a rhinestone in the center - so then I added more to cover her coat buttons to coordinate. She looks as if she is on her way to a Post Office to send her own Christmas Greetings doesn't she?

And that's it for today.

Thanks for looking.


Saturday, November 8, 2008


Okay - you asked for it and here it is. My first online tutorial.

In yesterday's post I showed you a card I made using a new technique I had learned. Today I'm going to show you how to make this wonderful snowflake card. You begin by dividing a circle into even sections. Think of cutting a pie.

So, let's get baking!

1. Cut two 3.75" circles. One from cardstock the other from computer paper. I used Nestabilities and the BigShot but you can use whatever circle cutting system you prefer.

2. Fold the computer paper in half being careful to line up the arcs.

3. Fold the paper in half again.

4. Fold in half again. Make sure with each fold to carefully line up the arcs and make a nice sharp point.

5. Unfold the paper. You will have a "pie" with 8 equally sized triangles.

6. Fold the paper in half and place on the BACK of the cardstock circle carefully lining up the edges. With a pencil, draw a line on the back of the cardstock. When finished DO NOT MOVE THE PAPER!

7. IMPORTANT!!! WITHOUT MOVING THE PAPER, lay it open on the cardstock then fold along another fold line and trace the line onto the cardstock. If you move the paper your pieces of pie will NOT remain a consistent size. Ask me how I know this!!!!

8. Repeat step 7 along a third fold line.

9. Repeat step 8 along the 4th fold line and set aside. TIP: Keep your paper template for future projects to save time.

10. Remove the plastic guide from your corner punch.

11. Place the lined cardstock into the punch so that the entire design will be punched into the cardstock. With this particular punch and circle size the edge of the punch slides up even with the point formed by the pencil lines. If you enlarge this photo you will see bright green lines on each side of the punch design. This is where I lined up the lines of my first "piece of pie". Punch the design and then rotate to the next triangle.

12. In the second triangle, line up the punch edge at the point of the penciled lines and the edge of the first punched design so that you are punching just at the edge of the first punched design. (Enlarge photo to see placement.)

13. Repeat steps 11&12 until all the triangles have been punched. The photo below shows the medallion I just created on the right and a variation using the same punch on the left.

The real key is to play and have fun with it to see what you can come up with. Since the medallion we just created looks so much like a snowflake I decided to make a winter card.

For this card I embossed a piece of 4x51/4" white card stock using the Cuttlebug Embossing folder and the BigShot then punch the corners using the same decorative corner punch. (NOTE: put your plastic guide back on the punch before punching the corners.) I layered this onto a cardbase of Night of Navy.

Using my circles and scalloped circles Nestabilities I die cut the largest scallop and adhered the punched medallion to it. The next layer is composed of a 2.5" white circle backed by a 2.5"scalloped circle of Night of Navy. These "nest" together perfectly so that you just see a ring of scallops behind the white. (DUH! Do you think thats why they call them Nestabilities?????)

The final layer is a 2" Nestabilities circle cut and embossed from Night of navy. I stamped a snowflake in Craft White ink in the center using a snowflake stamp from the retired Stampin'Up! set 'SNOWFLAKES' and heat embossed it using White embossing powder. I placed a light blue jeweled brad in the center and popped it up on the card using dimensionals.

And there you have it. A new way to use an old tool that really gives your card some added "punch".

Thanks for visiting today. If you try this technique let me know. I'd really love to see what you come up with.


Friday, November 7, 2008


My goodness!!! I didn't realize how long it had actually been since I had updated my blog. Almost a two week hiatus - NOT good! I actually hit about a 4 day period during that time that I considered giving it all up. Selling all my stamping supplies, signing off as a demonstrator - EVERYTHING. I don't know what was wrong with me - maybe temporary insanity - but all is well and I'm back to my normal "can't get enough of stamping" self.

Today's card, which I got out of bed an hour earlier than usual to make, (see, I told you I was back to my can't get enough self) uses Eggplant Envy, Whisper White and watercolor paper. I would love to tell you the name of the stamp set - but I'm not at home right now and I can't remember which set I used. A retired one though. Heaven Scent perhaps???? The medallion was created using a corner punch and a neat little technique I learned recently. If you are interested in a tutorial let me know and I'll post one. A Cuttlebug Embossing folder with the BigShot, gold ribbon, gold brads, gold Stickles and stardust Stickles were used to add a little texture and bling.

Give it a try and see what you can come up with. Any decorative corner punch will work and you can achieve some really different effects. I'm planning on posting a different one tomorrow so make sure to check back.

Have a great day, take time to play - but more importantly, take time to pray. There are many out there who are struggling and only the gentle, loving care from our heavenly father can bring comfort.

Thanks for visiting.