Thursday, April 28, 2011

Betty's Retirement Card

Randy came home from work a few days ago and asked if I would make a card for his co-worker Betty who is retiring.  Of course, I said that I would.

The sentiment is from the hostess set called Something to Celebrate.  It's only available for a few more days.  This is the first time that I've used my new Boho Blossoms punch.  Why did I wait so long to add that one to my collection???

Here's a close-up of the inside:

Betty is such a funny lady.  I'm sure she'll be missed at Randy's office.  Now that she's retiring maybe she'll have time to make some cards with me : )

Stamps: Something to Celebrate (hostess level 2, Occasions Mini)
Paper: Soft Suede, Very Vanilla, Wild Wasabi, Melon Mambo, Regal Rose, Pretty in Pink
Ink: Soft Suede
Accessories: Big Shot, Framed Tulips textured impressions embossing folder, Boho Blossoms punch,  Ticket Corner punch. pearls, Victoria crochet trim

Happy Stamping!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Two Mother's Day Cards and Two Challenges

A few days ago I entered a card recipe swap on Stampin' Connection, an online community for Stampin' Up! demonstrators.  My task was to use a product from the upcoming Summer Mini catalog. I chose the category "Mother's Day."  It wasn't until after I commited to the swap that I realized that I didn't purchase many preorder items from that catalog,  (Trying to use some self-control here!)  The only item I had to work with was the Strength & Hope stamp set.  I have two versions:

Oops! I forgot to trim my ribbon on this one.

The second card is actually the first one that I made.  Although I do like the Paisley Petals designer series paper, something about it bothered me.  That's why I created another card.  Here's some neat things I did on this project:

1.  I  colored the taffeta ribbon by rubbing it over my baja Breeze ink pad.  
2. To get that cool border around the Word Window punch, I cut one piece of card stock using the Decorative Label punch, then re-fed it the opposite way back into the punch.  (Can't remember where I saw that idea to give credit.)
3. Immediately after stamping my butterflies, I poured clear embossing powder over them and heat set it. A second butterfly is on top of the first one. I simply followed the pattern on the butterfly to cut a smaller image.  The antennae are "attached" to the bottom butterfly.

I'm entering this card in two challenges this week, Stamping 411 and SUO Challenges.

Stamps: Strength & Hope, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Paper: Whisper White, Baja Breeze, Always Artichoke, Night of Navy 
Ink: Baja Breeze, Soft Suede, Night of Navy, Always Artichoke 
Accessories: Big Shot, Vintage Wallpaper textured impressions embossing folder, Petals-a-Plenty textured impressions embossing folder, Word Window punch, Decorative Label punch, Scallop Trim Border punch, heat tool, clear embossing powder, Whisper White taffeta ribbon, pearls, sponges, dimensionals
Happy Stamping!


Monday, April 25, 2011

Clematis 'Bourbon' Perfected!

Over the past few days I've worked on the 'Bourbon' every little chance that I got.  No, I wasn't drinking bourbon.  I created another clematis!  It all started after I wrote the last post.  I wanted to make one using Rich Razzleberry to sponge the petals.  One thing lead to another and I created a wooden fence background for the clematis to climb.  Here it is:

First, I rounded the corners of the fence planks, then sponged them with Soft Suede ink.  After I punched the Melon Mambo flower petals, I sponged those with Rich Razzleberry ink, punched a 1/16" hole and put them all together on a brad.  I purposely arranged the petals in a random design.  That's how they're found in nature, right?  For the stems I cut a Pear Pizzazz piece of card stock about 1/8" wide and used a stylus to make a vein down the center.  Then I folded the strip in half and rolled it around the stylus to soften the fibers and sponged them with Pear Pizzazz ink.  I wove the vine around the fence pieces to make it look like it was really climbing the fence.  I rubbed the Melon Mambo and Regal Rose clematis buds across Very Vanilla craft ink and let them dry overnight.  Then I sponged the tips with Rich Razzleberry ink.  The leaves were folded in half and sponged with Pear Pizzazz ink.

Stamps: none
Paper: Woodland Walk designer series paper, Paisley Petals designer series paper, Pear Pizzazz, Melon Mambo, Daffodil Delight, Regal Rose
Ink: Rich Razzleberry, Pear Pizzazz, Soft Suede, Very Vanilla craft ink
Accessories: Blossom Petals punch, corner rounder punch, 1/16" circle punch, brad, sponges, dimensionals

Several years ago I bought my mom a book about clematis.  She has about six different varieties growing in her garden and loves all of them.  This card is for her : )

Happy Stamping!


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

I've seen this music video a few times recently and wanted to share it with all of my readers.  I hope all of you are enjoying your Easter Sunday.

God Bless!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Clematis 'Bourbon'

Gardening has always been a great hobby of mine.  Years ago in my BC (Before Children) era, Randy and I planted all kinds of plants - mostly herbs, vegetables and flowers.  When I was pregnant with Bradley, my college roomie Sue came to visit for a weekend.   At the time, Randy was out to sea.  A hurricane had just blown through the east coast and knocked down some our our fencing and the trellis that 'Henryi' climbed.  I have some great photos of my eight-months pregnant belly and Sue trying to fix things.  (I'll have to figure out how to scan the photos into the computer later.)  We laughed really hard over that one because we were absolutely no good at construction work.  I was so sad to leave my Clematis 'Henryi' when we moved from Virginia to the Netherlands.  Wonder if it's still there.

A few days ago, I stopped by the house of my friend and downline, Linda.  She was in need of some card stock for her upcoming Blossom Petals punch class.  While I was there, I got to see a paper clematis that she made using the punch.  Too cute!  (Maybe I can get a photo of her card to post.)

Today, amidst the chaos of having four kids inside the house, I browsed a few gardening sites and found clematis 'Bourbon' and decides to recreate it.

Single 5-inch neon-red blooms with a darker red edge on miniature climbing plant 4 to 6 feet tall. Clematis Bourbon™ is deciduous. 

(This photo is a little bright and doesn't capture the card's true colors.)
The petals are made out of Melon Mambo card stock.  I added two veins in each petal with my bone folder, then sponged each petal with Cherry Cobbler ink.  (I tried Real Red ink and it didn't look right.  Rich Razzleberry might've worked, too.  But I didn't try it.)  I cut the width of the ribbon down and fringed the edges. It kinda mimics the center of the flower.  And here's how I did the center:

The piece was about three inches long and 3/8" wide.
I cut very tiny strips about 1/4" down the length of the strip.

Linda shared a little "trick" with me.  Instead of using Tombow monoadhesive to hold all of the petals together, she used a brad.  It's covered up by the center of the flower.  I put a glue dot in between the flower and the flower center, then adhered the flower to the card with a dimensional.

Stamps: none
Paper: Pumpkin Pie, Cherry Cobbler, Melon Mambo, Daffodil Delight, Paisley Prints designer series paper
Ink: Cherry Cobbler
Accessories:  Blossom Petals punch,  corner rounder punch, sponges, 1 1/4" striped Pumpkin Pie ribbon, glue dots, Tombow monoadhesive, dimensionals, 1/16" hole punch, brad, bone folder

That card got me to thinking about how I miss the gardening that I used to do.  I haven't planted too many things since we moved into our new house six years ago.  One thing we did plant was a clematis.  Some day I'll get my hands dirty again.  For now, I'd rather be taking care of the kids and getting my fingers a little inky!

Happy stamping and happy Easter!


Strength & Hope Campaign - and my first Mojo Monday

As part of our Making a Difference program, Stampin' Up! is proud to partner with The Breast Cancer Research Foundation in the Strength & Hope Campaign.  Throughout the 2011 Summer Mini Catalog sales period starting May 1st, Stampin' Up! will donate $2  from the sale of each Strength & Hope set and Strength & Hope digital kit to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).  Be looking for your Summer Mini in the mail any day now, ask me for your very own copy or check my blog on May1st to see it for yourself.  I'm sure each of us know at least one person who is fighting this disease and these people need cards more than anyone. For more information about BCRF, visit

I am hosting a Strength & Hope Stamp Camp fundraiser on Tuesday, May 31st at 6:00 pm at the Oil City YWCA.  Participants will create six cards (two of three designs) using their own Strength & Hope stamp set.  My personal sales commission will go to the American Cancer Society's "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" program.  This money will stay in the Western PA region and directly assist breast cancer patients.  Please contact me for more information.

I am combining Mojo Monday with this new set (my first Mojo Monday, too):

Here's my version:

Here is a photo of my almost six year-old Dide (pronounced Dee-da, a Dutch name) posing with the card.  You can also see where I usually take my photos: on the back of the couch in natural lighting. 
Stamps: Strength & Hope, Tiny Tags
Paper: Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Marina Mist, Soft Suede
Ink: Marina Mist, Crumb Cake, Soft Suede
Accessories: Big Shot, Tasteful Trim die, Square Lattice textured impressions embossing folder, Medium Jewelry Tag punch, Crumb Cake seam binding, Vintage Trinkets, linen thread, pearls

I wish all of you a very happy Easter!  Please enjoy the time you spend with family and friends and remember the real reason we celebrate Easter.

Happy stamping!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Quick Stamped and Punched Bouquet

Here's a card that I made for my Blossom Petals punch class.  I got the idea from Jackie Topa

This card takes very little time to make.  This just might be the card that I'll have everyone make at the birthday party in a few weeks : )  I really like the Short & Sweet stamp set.  I can let the guests choose what sentiment to put on their cards.

Stamps: Build a Blossom, Short & Sweet
Paper: Whisper White, Regal Rose
Ink: Regal Rose, Certainly Celery, Soft Suede
Accessories: Blossom Petals punch, Oval punch, Scallop Oval punch, Daffodil Delight taffeta ribbon, dimensionals

Rain, rain, go away!  Please come back another day! Bradley was supposed to have baseball practice yesterday and today.  His first game is scheduled for Thursday.  It's too cold and wet to play ball.

Happy stamping!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

This "Thank You!" is For All of My Readers

For a few years now I've been reading various stamping blogs.  Sometimes I wondered, "How do these
people find the time to blog?"  It seemed obvious that some bloggers don't carry the same family responsibilities that I do.  We're all at different stages in our lives.  I can barely get the laundry done and dinner on the table every night!  How would I find time to blog???  Still, I felt the need to challenge myself.  So about six months ago, I took the plunge.  For me, blogging is manly an online record of the projects I've made.  No more hoarding those pretty cards!

After I started I thought, "What did I get myself into?"  It's just a blog.  No one is judging me.  I can contribute as much or as little as I want.  I kinda compare it to the story "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" which lately Clarice wants to hear every night before bed. 

Some bloggers post every day.  That's not for me. 
Some only post once a month or less.  That's not enough for me. 
Some post once a week or so.  That's just right for me.

This card is a "Thank You" to all of my readers.  I sincerely appreciate all the comments you've left me over the last several months.  They mean a lot to me.  And they keep me motivated to continue blogging : )

This is the card that I did for the make-n-take at Kim's workshop last week.  I got the idea from Debra Burgin .  The card is almost identical to the one that she created.  Thank you, Debra!  The card features the Four Frames stamp set available this month as a "Sneak Peak" from the new catalog that will be released in July.  I love how this frame image coordinates perfectly with the roses in the Elements of Style stamp set.

Stamps: Elements of Style. Four Frames, Fabulous Phrases
Paper: Whisper White, Night of Navy
Ink: Night of Navy
Accessories: White Organza ribbon, Decorative Label punch, dimensionals

It's not quite noon yet, but I'd better stop blogging and think about what to make for dinner, LOL!

Happy stamping!


Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Quick (Post-it) Post

I'm going to be presenting some projects at a friend's daughter's birthday party in a few weeks and needed to make a prototype.  Here is one of the projects, a Post-it note holder, that the birthday girl and her friends and family will be making:

Stamps: Every Little Bit
Paper: Poppy Parade, So Saffron, Whisper White, Build-a-Bear Pawsitively Prints II designer series paper
Ink: Jet Black Staz-on ink, watercolor pencils, blender pen
Accessories: Scallop Circle punch, 1 1/4" Circle punch, 1 3/8" Circle punch, sticky strip

Annika has been really mouthy and disrespectful lately, so she's going to bed early.  She gave me a real problem after I brought home those mini-gel pens.  She wants everything to be hers.  Gotta stay strong and disipline her.

Happy stamping!


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Punched Butterfly

We were spoiled by the warm weather the last few days.  Now it's cold and rainy.  Some people might not like to read this, but I'd much rather have it snowing than this cold rain.  Also, the kids have to stay inside. And that's not real fun - for all of us.

I copied today's card from Julie Davison.  What I did that (I think!) that is original is cut the antenae with the blossom petals punch instead of drawing them on with a marker like like Julie did.  Here's how I did it:

Stamps: Tiny Tags, Build a Blossom
Paper: Sahara Sand, Pear Pizzazz, So Saffron, Basic Black
Ink: So Saffron, Jet Black Staz-on
Accessories: Big Shot, Manhattan Flower textured impressions embossing folder, Blossom Petals punch, Moonlight Smooch Pearlized Accent Ink, dimensionals

Bradley baked a chocolate cake this morning.  It was from a box, but he did it all by himself - except for spraying the pan.  It's cool enough to frost now.  Bad thing is that it's already past lunch time and I haven't fed the kids and they're hungry for cake.  Instead, I've been photographing and blogging.  Better get back to my "real" job!

Happy Stamping!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bonnie's Beautiful Bird Birthday Card

I love alliterations. Can you tell by the title?

Last month I did a workshop for some ladies who've been stamping for a few years.  They're a neat group who work together (or whose husbands work together) and share a joy of paper crafting.  During every workshop that I do, I always do the "door prize" thing.  Well, this time I had all of them add their birthday to the bottom of the sheet.  I made no promises about sending them birthday cards, but I said I'd try.  Weeks passed and I forgot about the birthdays written on those door prize forms.  Then just last week I began looking for the forms and discovered that  I COULDN'T FIND THEM.  Two of them were sitting on my work table, but the others had disappeared.  Why weren't they all together?  How could the librarian in me forget to file the birthdays away someplace safe???

Panic set in, followed by a peace.  I pride myself in finding everything around this house - eventually.  So I knew the forms would turn up.  In the meantime,  I remembered one of the ladies birthdays earlier in the month  (see this post) and made her a card.  Lo and behold, two or three days ago I found the door prize forms  while working on this post.  I quickly transformed from overtired mother and housewife into "Super-Stamper-Librarian Woman" and put those cards in date order. Then I read the dates and realized that I had a card to create for Bonnie.  Here it is:

I had the butterflies cut ahead of time. One of them is a retired color, Barely Banana.
The bird was punched out of So Saffron card stock using the Two-Step Bird punch, then sponged with Regal Rose ink.  I glued a ring of Pear Pizzazz leaves from the bird punch onto Crumb Cake card stock.  (I chose that color because I didn't really think my project through to the end.  Next time, I'd do it over again using another color.)   I sponged the First Edition dsp, the card base, and the Modern Label shape with Soft Suede ink.  The sentiment is from the new birthday stamp set from the Occasions Mini called Bring on the Cake.  The card size is 4 1/4" x 4 1/4". 
Stamps: Bring on the Cake
Paper: Pink Pirouette, So Saffron, Crumb Cake, Pear Pizzazz, Pretty in Pink, First Edition designer series paper
Ink: Regal Rose, Soft Suede
Accessories: Two-Step Bird punch, Word Window punch, Modern Label punch, Big Shot, Beautiful Wings embosslits die, dimensionals

Clarice had one teeny accident today while I was in the shower.  She came into the bathroom and said, "Mommy, I peed. Don't worry, I keened it all up."  After I got out of the bathroom, I saw the wet kitchen towel beside her potty and a trail of pee footprints leading from the dining room to the kitchen.

Happy Stamping!


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Punched Coneflowers

Some of my readers may be getting tired of seeing creations using the Blossom Petals punch.  But I truly believe that Stampin' Up! has created a great product here!  Anyone who buys this punch will be getting their money's worth.  And that's why I keep showing how versatile it is : )

Can you see the Bashful Blue clouds? I made them by sponging Bashful Blue onto some scallop circles.

Here's my Daffodil Delight version.
Inspiration for these cards came from Jackie Topa.
Stamps: Build a Blossom
Paper: Whisper White, Certainly Celery, Pear Pizzazz, Old Olive, Daffodil Delight, Rich Razzleberry, Soft Suede
Ink: Certainly Celery, Pear Pizzazz, Old Olive, Daffodil Delight, Rich Razzleberry, Bashful Blue
Accessories: Blossom Petals punch, Daffodil Delight taffeta ribbon

I was so glad that the weather is finally getting nice.  The kids have been outside playing most of the day.  Now they're starting to wander into the house looking for something to eat. We were just going to have leftovers, but Annika has a friend over.  So, we're ordering Chinese.  The weather reminds me of how great it is to eat grilled food.  If I had only thought to get some meat out of the freezer on time.  I usually take pride in my ability to get supper on the table every night.  But today I had to stamp instead.

Today is the first full day that Clarice is wearing Dora underwear.  I told her that I wasn't allowed to buy diapers anymore.  So far she's used her potty three times and not had any accidents.  I guess her not being potty trained is a combination of me being lazy and my way of keeping her my baby.  She's three and needs to be a big girl now.

Happy stamping!


Friday, April 8, 2011

Wow! An award for me???

I'm super excited and surprised to announce that I've been nominated for the Stylish Blogger Award!!!

When you are given this award, there are four things you must do:

1. Thank the person that gave you the award and link back to their blog.  Thank you, Angel!   You can find her blog, here

2. Share (8) things about yourself:

1. I was on my way out the door to try wedding dresses on when my current husband called me.  I called off that wedding and eloped with Randy a year later. We've been happily married for 18 years and have four kids, so I know I made the right decision.

2. I have four of the greatest kids in the world.  Although they drive me batty at times, I can't imaging life without them.

3. I am a La Leche League leader and have helped numerous moms and babies breastfeed over the last 10 years.

4. We lived in the Netherlands from 2001-2005 and loved it.

5.I have my master's degree in library science.  Seems like now I can't keep order of anything these days with my busy family, but I try to know where all of my stamp supplies are located.

6. I was introduced to Stampin' Up! by a demonstrator while overseas. I had the intention of making a scrapbook of my travels/experiences and have yet to start it.  (Cards are much more doable these days.)

7.  I love to cook - and eat!

8.  I am a Christian and try to live my life as honestly as I can.

3. Pass this award on to (8) other Stylish Bloggers:

1. Martha Stewart Seasons of Stamping

2. Diana Gibbs Stampin' With Di

3. Jen Timko Stampin' on the Fly

5. Michele Foerst Parchment Paperie

6. Julie DiMatteo The Paper Pixie

7. Jan Tinklenberg Stamps, Paper, Scissors

8. Sharon Field Created by You

4. Leave a comment on their blogs so they know your passing it on to them.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Blossom Petals Thinking of You Card

I've had so much fun playing with the new Blossom Petals punch and coordinating stamp set.  I just can't get enough of them.  I designed a card-making class that uses the punch.  Even after finding all the ideas for those cards, I keep coming up with more ideas.  This one is a keeper:

This card is for my friend Barb who is recovering from knee replacement surgery.  While she was in surgery the doctors found an infection.  So they had to put in a temporary knee and let the infection heal.  In several weeks after the infection has cleared Barb will get her new knee.  I'm praying for her complete recovery.

The design for this card came from Dawn Griffith's blog.  I changed up the embossing folder, added the scallop trim border punch, and used a different sentiment.

Stamps: Build a Blossom, Trendy Trees
Paper: Baja Breeze, Whisper White, Springtime Vintage designer series paper
Ink: Baja Breeze
Accessories: Big Shot, Perfect Polka Dots textured impressions embossing folder, Scallop Trim Border punch, Blossom petals punch, 1/2" circle punch, dimensionals, 2-way glue pen, Dazzling Diamonds

My kids were occupied long enough this afternoon that I made several of these cards.  I changed the sentiment to one from the new stamp set Bring on the Cake that says, "Not just a year older, but a year better." I sent that to two of my customers, Kim and Sally, who are having birthdays this week.  Happy birthday, ladies!

Happy stamping!


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Made with White Meat

Recently, I was commissioned by my friend Liz to create a wedding card.  Here it is:

The photo doesn't do this card justice.  It's very difficult to see the Champagne shimmer mist paint.  I mixed some of it with alcohol and sprayed the embossed layer.  Trust me, it's on there!  For the sentiment, I misted the Very Vanilla layer and cut two extra Night of Navy wide ovals to layer behind it.

Stamps:  Occasional Quotes (hostess level 3)
Paper:  Very Vanilla, Night of Navy
Ink: Night of Navy
Accessories: Big Shot, Elegant Lines textured impressions embossing folder, Wide Oval punch, vanilla taffeta ribbon, Champagne shimmer mist paint, dimensionals

I'm babysitting Liz's three kids while she and her husband attend the wedding.  Even though it's only in the mid 40's, all the kids played outside for a while while I made cards.  Tonight my kids were SO excited to have chicken patties and French fries for supper.  I didn't feel too guilty about it because it was an easy dinner to "prepare" for seven kids.  That's not the kind of meal I usually make for them.  I wonder what the label "made with white meat" really means.  Now the entire living room floor is covered with hundreds of Thomas train tracks.  Some of them are playing with the trains while other are just watching TV.  It's a fun night at the Carlson household. I'm sure my kids are going to ask for chicken patties for dinner in the near future.  Gonna have to explain why I don't often feed them stuff that's labeled "made with white meat."

Happy stamping!