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This blog is for sharing a love of paper crafting. You can also check out my Pintrest pages. If you find the ideas here to be helpful, I'd love to hear from you. It is what helps make the time I put into this blog feel worthwhile, and always brightens my day. I love hearing your ideas too!

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Monday, February 29, 2016


Today I got a cutting die set from Sizzix that I purchased - one that makes an A-2 sized step card.  I LOVE being able to just grab the die & cut the card out that way - and I appreciate that I can use dies to quickly cut decorator papers to fit.  

Of course, I had to quickly try it out.  For this card, I just used 2 of the dies - the basic card die and one of the decorator paper dies to cut a piece for the "inside" of the card where I'll be writing my message to the card's recipient.  

To decorate the outside of the card, I used a coordinating card stock and some of the Tile Works dies from Spellbinders.  As you can see, I added one of the butterflies I made a couple of days ago (see earlier post).  I then stamped the hydrangeas & butterfly from the Stampendous "Build a Bouquet" stamp set with VersaMark and embossed in black.  I colored the hydrangeas with colored pencils like I did here. The small butterfly was colored with Smooch ink, then sprinkled with a sparkly embossing powder and heat embossed.  After I colored them, I covered the hydrangeas with VersaMark ink and sprinkled with the same sparkly embossing powder and heat embossed.  The small butterfly was added with foam stickers.  The greeting was from JustRite stamp set called "Enjoy the Day Vintage Labels Four" - also heat embossed black and added with foam tape.  The butterfly "path" is actually little black rhinestone-like pieces from a belt I had that "died". :)

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Build a Bouquet

Today I spent some time playing with a new-to-me stamp set from Stampendous - Build a Bouquet.  It's quite a bit of fun to mix and match these pieces to see how the bouquet looks.  However, the matching dies that I ordered at the same time have not yet arrived and I'll admit I'm a bit impatient to get them.  I love how these turned out, but I want a bunch more die-cut pieces so I can quickly and easily layer them to create a dimensional look.  

Anyway, these ones were stamped with black Versafine ink.  I started with the flowers in the foreground (roses or hydrangeas), then used stencils to cover them when I stamped the other elements.  (Don't stamp the vase first!  You don't want the top border showing where the flowers are.)  

Using watercolor pencils, I colored the places I wanted to be darkest - often using more than one color as I shaded them a bit.  Then I used a water brush to paint in the rest and blend it all to get a lovely watercolor effect.  I used a light blue for the part of the bowl that has water, and gray to shade the are above the water.  Here are some other examples I made using the same stamp set:

Saturday, February 27, 2016


Here are my first butterflies made with my new die set from Elizabeth Crafts.  I cut the base from white card stock & colored with chalks - blending several colors.  The veins & body were cut from black paper and glued on top.  After I took this picture, I covered the wings with "Frosted Lace" Stickles - a see-through glitter glue that gives a nice glimmer to the wings.  This is what they look like now:

Friday, February 26, 2016

Pop-Up Puppies

I loved the kitties I made so much, I decided to get the matching puppies stamp and die set from Stampendous.  I'm not as happy with the way I colored them (but then I'm a cat person and know more about what cats should look like!), but they're not too bad.  At least I will have something to use for the dog lovers in my life.  I colored them with chalks and added a bit of fine line marker detail.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Masculine Double Emboss

Double embossing - both dry embossing and heat embossing form the foundation for this very metallic masculine card.  I started with an embossing folder (Darice - Clock Background) and some aluminum foil.  I tapped embossing ink on one side of the open embossing folder before adding the foil and running it through my die cut machine.  I then sprinkled it with copper embossing powder and heat embossed it.  This, matted with a plain piece of foil, forms my background.

For the focal & greeting, I took a piece of gray patterned paper, stamped it with embossing ink (HOTP Pocket Watch Small Stamp), and heat embossed it with copper powder.  I wanted to use foam tape with it, but the paper was not very sturdy, so I first glued it to a piece of white card stock.  I finished the outside with some decorative border stickers:

For the inside I took more of my embossed foil and cut a fancy edge with my paper trimmer.  Then I took the "leftovers" from a couple of silver Happy Birthday stickers and mounted them on brown cardstock that coordinated with the embossed foil.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Snow Globe Houses

My series on Snow Globes made with HOTP stamps & matching dies started here with a discussion of  how to make the card base and do the finishing touches.  Then I started talking about how I decorated them.  I've discussed the background, trees, and snowmen in previous posts.  Toady I'll talk about what I did with the houses.

Just as with the Snowmen, though there is only 1 house die, there are two stamps.  I stamped most of them like this first one using a light blue metallic ink and heat embossing with clear powder so I knew it wouldn't smear or run as I continued decorating it.  I once again used very fine markers to color in various sections of the house.

As you can see in the picture above, I added a little yellow paper behind the window for this one.

Here are the snow globes made using the second house stamp.  For this one I used red ink:
For this second one I added just a bit more detailing with a red fine line marker:

I'm hoping to find the time to make more Snow Globe cards - expanding beyond what came in the set and seeing how other stamps I have might work for this.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Snow Globe Stamped Tree & Snowmen

Today continues my posts using HOTP Snowglobes dies & matching stamps sets.  To see how to make the card base & do the finishing, check Snow Globes.

This tree (and several in future posts) were cut from shine design paper and then stamped with green StazOn using the matching stamp.  I sprinkled with clear embossing powder & heat embossed to help insure the ink wouldn't smear.  I really liked how that turned out.

As you can see, I've also added a couple of snowmen.  There is one snowman die, but two stamps so you can get the different looks you see here (and will see on several future cards).  I used Marvy markers to color some of the features on the stamps before using a metallic light blue for the main part of the stamp and black detail ink for the arms, hats & eyes.  After the snowmen were stamped, I added detail with some very fine tip markers.  If they started out as glossy card stock (some were and some were on plain cardstock) I sprinkled clear embossing powder over all of it and heat embossed to ensure the image didn't smear. The front snowman was added with foam tape for dimension.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Snow Globe Trees & Stickers

Decorations for today's snow globe cards were made using trees cut from green shine design paper using dies from the Snow Globe set (HOTP).  (See the previous Snow Globes post for information on making the card base and finishing it.) Before adding the trees I stamped the background image (from the snow globe stamp set) - in silver here, in a metallic light blue for the next one.  I added the trees and decorated the rest with stickers - mostly Dazzles - a small reindeer a shooting star and some snowflakes and dots to the trees.  Quick & easy.

Here's the 2nd one I made:
This time I used 3 trees - the front one was added with foam tape.  Before adding that front tree, I stamped it with one of the stamps from the Snow Globe set and then added liquid pearls for the garland and small jewels for the ornaments.  A shooting star sticker finishes the top of it. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Snow Globes!

Lots of snow globes!  I got the snow globe matching stamp & cutting die sets from HOTP way back in September and have been wanting to play with them - finally managed it!  These are the first of several snow globe cards that I'll be making for some of my Christmas cards this year.  Over the next several days I'll talk about how I decorated these, but today We'll talk about making the snow globe card base itself.

  • Card stock - I used a mix of glossy & regular white card stock
  • Three of the cutting dies from the HOTP Snow Globe die set: the plain circle, the snow globe frame, and the snow globe base
Instructions Card Base:
  • Score card stock at 3 1/8" and fold along score line.
  • Line up plain circle die so it just overlaps the fold line (so about 3/4 of an inch won't be cut), and cut one on the fold.
  • Cut two of the card base.
  • Attach one of the card bases to the front of the INSIDE globe and one to the front of the OUTSIDE globe (making sure you line them up so the match each other and so the base is opposite the fold).
Instructions Globe Finishing:
  • That's it for the card base, but I also went ahead and cut one each of the snow globe frame and the base from a brown patterned paper so it would look like wood.  
  • I then inked up the matching stamps (see stamping technique below) and stamped the pieces in brown StazOn ink. 
  • These I saved to add AFTER the decorating was complete.  
  • After I had my decorations applied to the outside of the card, I applied a liquid glue (I used a two-way glue by ZIG Memory System) to the frame and put it in place.  
  • Next I added my base using my ATG to attach it.
  • Then I inked the edges of the card with brown ink.
  • Finally I added a sticker greeting and my card was complete (except for what I'm planning to write on the inside of course)!
Stamping Technique:  There are lots of different ideas about how best to use dies and matching stamps.  This is what I find usually works best for me.  I cut the shape first.  I then put my stamp right side up on an acrylic block and place it on the table.  I ink it up and then carefully line up my die cut (right side down) and press with the flat of my fingers or my palm (depending on how large the shape is) to ensure the ink has transferred well. 

Happy Paper crafting!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentine's Cat

Today I have another cat card - this time a Valentine's card with no hint of pink or red anywhere! :)  The cat was made using the stamp & die matching sets from Stampendous ("Pop-up Kitties").  The greeting is stamp and matching die from JustRite (Antique Valentine Tags One, Vintage Labels and Banner Dies).  For details on how I colored this cat, check here.  It's always a bit challenging to really see what's going on in a photo, but this is what I did to make the front of the card:
  • First, I made a double mat of dark green card stock and green gingham patterned paper (HOTP) which I attached to my card front.
  • Next I embossed a piece of  light green vellum with an all-over dots embossing folder
  • Before I attached the vellum to the card, I added my focal & sentiment so I could put the glue underneath that in a way it wouldn't be seen.  The bow & banner are both stamped with black StazOn on a green "Shine Design" paper from HOTP.  The banner & the cat's head are both attached with foam tape for added dimension.
  • After attaching the vellum, I realized that it would have looked better if I had inked the edges.  It was too late for that, but I took a dark green fine-tip marker and a ruler and drew around the edges to make them stand out better - hard to see in the picture, but evident in real life.

I actually assembled the inside of this card first.  I started by finding and modifying a poem that I printed on the same light green vellum I used for the front of the card.  I added another cat - this time with a wobble spring holding the head so it bobbles a bit.  I had a stamp that actually came in a set of sympathy stamps from JustRite (With Sympathy), but I thought it was perfect for a Valentine's Day card.  When all was ready, I attached the vellum to just the inside front of the card - once again with the adhesive behind the cat.  Here's a closer look at the inside cat.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Thinking of You Kittie

Today I needed to make a "Thinking of You" card, so of course I turned to my newly completed cats (Stampendous "Pop Up Kitties" stamps & matching dies) for my focal.  I chose to use one that I colored like a "Tuxedo cat". Here's a picture that perhaps shows the front of the card a bit better:

The striped paper is from a DCWV Mat Stack and is matted with plain black.  The bows are die cut from a glittered foam from the dollar store.  The ledge the cat is sitting on is paper from HOTP.  As you can see, the cat is holding a tag with her paws.  The tag was made with stamps from JustRite stamps ("Be Strong") and cut with the matching die ("Antique Tags One") - silver heat embossing on a white glossy cardstock colored with pink alcohol ink.

The last thing I did was to position some cat paws so they look like she's holding the tag and add the head - which is on a wobble spring.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Tiger Cats

Okay, I said yesterday's was the last of my "cat making frenzy", but after making all those cats, I realized I didn't have any "Tiger Cats" so decided I better make some of those too.  Here they are.  The two with bodies started as white card stock, but the third "peeking" cat started as greyish-tan paper (which was what I already had stamped) so it doesn't look the same and I couldn't leave part of it white like I did with the others.  It's funny how in the photo I like the peeking cat better, but in real life, the whiter ones look better! :)

I colored these cats in a similar fashion:
  • I started with a light tannish color and colored most of the cat with that.
  • Next I added a darker burnt orange color to form the "stripes".  The didn't have enough definition, so I found a gel pen I had that was similar in color and scribbled on the stripes with that.
  • Before the gel pen dried, I went back over the center of the stripe with more of the burnt orange.  This time it stuck to the gel pen marks more than elsewhere so helped to give more depth. (Though you can't really see it in this picture.)
  • The eyes were mostly gold Smooch, though some of them have just a touch of green in them as well.  One has pink chalk for a nose, one has pink smooch for a nose, and one has dark brown marker for a nose.
  • I finished by going over the outside lines, eyes & whiskers with a black or dark brown fine-line marker.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Tabby Cats

The last of my cat making frenzy is the tabby cat.  This one took more work, but I like the way it turned out.  

It started similar to others - dark brown ink on tan/brown paper.  I then added a lot of color with my chalks - browns and burnt orange colors.  

Next I took a fine line black sharpie and started scribbling in the black parts all over the face and body of the cat before using the same pen to go over the lines again to sharpen them up.  

The eyes are Smooch ink - a mix of green and gold with a dot of white gel pen in the center of the black.  The nose is pink Smooch ink.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Brownish Cats

These two cats were done in a similar way. 

The yellow-eyed cat (actually a mix of gold & green Smooch inks) started as a varigated brown cardstock stamped with dark brown ink.  I added more color with brown and dark brown chalks, outlined it in black over the dark brown, added smooch for eyes & nose.  And - touched up the center of the pupil with a white gel pen.

 The blue-eyed cat started as a single tone tan/brown cardstock stamped in brown.  It was colored with browns & blackish grey chalks with just a hint of a orange-brown color in a few spots.  The eyes & nose are Smooch inks (eyes are mix of blue-green & silver), and I added white gel pen for the center of the dark part of the eye to make it "pop".

Monday, February 1, 2016

Siamese Cats

Next up are some Siamese cats.  These started as white card stock stamped in coffee colored ink.  I used a medium brown chalk over the center of the face, the ears, the feet, and the tail.  Then I came back with a darker brown for shading.  I found I didn't like the white - wanted it a bit more cream colored, so I went over the whole VERY lightly with a brownish/tan color.  The eyes are Smooch ink - a mix of blue and silver.  For this one, I went over the lines again, using a brown fine-line marker.

Here are the other versions:
"Peeking" Kittie

Right-facing Kittie