Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Great Outdoors in CAS

I have the privilege and honor of being the guest designer for Monday's Clean & Simple challenge at Splitcoast Stampers.  This simply means that my card will be linked with the challenge and that I got advance notice of the challenge topic.  I was thrilled when I got the challenge - it couldn't have been better for me - The Great Outdoors!

That can mean so many things and I am sure the gallery will be full of trees and beatuiful birds and butterflies but, being from Colorado and spending lots of time in our mountains, for me the Great Outdoors is all about the pine forests.

If you have never wandered through a pine forest - it is truly indescribable.  You might think of a pine tree as simply a prickly evergreen.  But when they are part of the forest, the light that filters through has a hazy green/yellow look and everything has a sparkle to it.  I have attempted to recreate this in my card.

These little scenes are amazingly easy to recreate.

Mask off the portion of the card that you want to leave white.  I like sticky notes with lines - it makes it very easy to keep your lines straight.

I don't like coloring directly on stamps - it takes too long - so I minimized the work.  I inked the tree completely with Old Olive.  Then I used a Chocolate marker down the trunk.  Then I "thumped" the tree with Always Artichoke - that's just randomly hitting the stamp with the marker, like playing drums. 

I stamped the tree once toward the front of the scene and, without reinking, once towards the back.  I repeated this once.

The I brayered (or you could sponge) Old Olive on the bottom of the scene, Soft Sky at the top and a touch of Daffodil in the middle.

Here's how the process looked:

Peel up the post-its and you have an amazing scene.

Instead of planning ahead, I did the scene and then went looking for a sentiment.  I know we are not near Father's Day, but when I saw this sentiment in a wonderful set by WPlus9 Design Studio, I knew it would be perfect!

A little linen thread, a simple button and I am happy!

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Lovely As A Tree, WPlus9 Woodgrain Silhouettes
  • Inks: Stampin' Up Old Olive, Soft Sky, Daffodil Delight, Chocolate Chip pads; Always Artichoke, Chocolate Chip markers
  • Paper: Confetti White
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Linen Thread, Bold Brights Buttons
  • Challenges: Splitcoast Stampers Clean & Simple challenge: The Great Outdoors

Sympathy in Three Squares

 This week's Less Is More challenge is simply to use 3 squares.  You HAVE to click over to this challenge to see all of the participants.  This is only a three week old blog, yet they get 100s of participants, and you will be amazed at how fun, unique and creative all of the cards are!

Then, I looked at today's SplitCoast Stampers Featured Stamper gallery.  Corie has created great cards - and many, many of her cards use three squares!!

So I definitely knew what I was doing this morning!  And, I continue to work on sympathy cards for our church so all three are sympathy.

First, is my original card for the Less Is More challenge:

The embossed square is from a Cuttlebug four-pack.  There were many of these four packs in their very first release but they have become increasingly difficult to find.  If you can find them - they make great CAS cards.  There are fancy squares, cute squares, fancy circles, cute circles, themed postage stamps - and many others.

There is a trick to using these smaller Cuttlebug folders, or for that matter, border embossing folders.  If you have tried, you know that you often get a line on your paper at the edge of the folder - it's very unattractive.  Both edges of the folder can leave that line, but the edge of the folder that is the last part through the Cuttlebug is by far the worst. your folder, roll into the Cuttlebug just until the folder disappears into the roller and then back it back out.  Do NOT go all the way through.  9 times out of 10 you will get a nice embossed image WITHOUT the annoying edge-of-folder lines.

Edited to Add: Chrissie, from the Less Is More challenge, e-mailed me with another great idea for using small Cuttlebug folders.  She said she makes a stack of cardstock that is the same depth as the "B" plate of your cuttlebug and is slightly smaller than the embossing folder.  I tried it right away and it works very well.  Here are the steps:

Place your small folder on the paper.

For my Cuttlebug, a perfect stack is
11 squares of Stampin' Up cardstock
with tape between each one. 
The squares are 1 3/4" square to fit
within the edges of the folder.

Do NOT top with the regular
"B" plate - just keep your finger
pressed on it as you roll it
into your Cuttlebug.
Now I'm going to pull out all of my border embossing folders and make stacks for them.  Just 11 rectangle cuts of cardstock sized to fit inside the edges of the border.  Isn't this great??  Thanks to Chrissie!

Here are the cards that I CASEd from the featured stamper:

Corie's original card was a bright and cheerful birthday card
that I will definitely be CASeing EXACTLY!

Corie's original card uses bright and cheerful
paper and no stamps at all!

Gray and Vanilla Squares:
  • Stamps: Clear Dollar Stamps Heartfelt Sentiments and mini cross
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Basic Gray
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Basic Gray, Very Vanilla
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Antique Brads, Cuttlebug Formal Squares 4-pack (I see them online at and at my favorite embossing folder site,
  • Challenges: Less Is More
Parisian Breeze Butterflies:
  • Stamps: Papertrey Ink Simple Little Things (an anniversary set - so not available, sorry!)
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Chocolate Chip
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Chocolate Chip, Crumb Cake, Baja Breeze, Parisian Breeze dsp
  • Accessories: Martha Stewart butterfly punch, misc corner punch
  • Challenges: SplitCoast Featured Stamper
Guava and Chocolate Sympathy:
  • Stamps: Clear Dollar Stamps Heartfelt Sentiments
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Chocolate
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Chocolate, Guava, K&Co Classic K Bailey dsp
  • Accessories: misc pearls colored with copic, SU Old Olive satin, Antique brads
  • Challenges:  SplitCoast Featured Stamper

Saturday, February 26, 2011


A very alert reader has e-mailed me with a valid concern on my instructions for cutting nestabilities using a Cuttlebug.

My Friday Focus instructions (found here) show the following "sandwich" to cut with a nestability

C plate
Die (with cutting side up)
B plate
A plate (the big white one)

Lavonne pointed out the following (basically reversing my B and C layers):

"In most nestability packaging it tells you to layer plate A, plate C, die cut edge up, paper then plate B.  The reason for this is the B plates are much easier to find for replacing.  C plates are not easy to replace.  At least not where I am.  I've been using my cuttlebug for several years now.  I accidently cut into my C plate the first time I used nestabilities."

She is absolutely right.  Whichever plate is above the die gets cut - and eventually you have to replace that plate.  And, I've never seen C plates sold in local stores - I have to order on-line.

If you know you do NOT want marks on your C plate, scroll down for a revised stack. 

If you are already totally confused and frustrated, go ALL the way to the bottom for a simple way of remembering everything.

But, let me tell you why I do it - then you can make your own decision as to which works for you.

First, it is so important for you to realize that my Cuttlebug gets used at all of our church cardmaking events.  This means I have little control over what gets cut into - even my base A plate has cut marks in it.  So I am likely more immune to cutting concerns than most people.

Second, the reason that I cut that way is because it is (every-so-slightly) less work to switch things around for embossing and, as you will see, I am clearly very lazy about it!

My sandwich for embossing is as follows:

B plate
Rubber mat
Die (with cutting side up)
Three cardstock shims
B plate
A plate (the big white one)

If you compare that to the cutting stack, this stack means that all I have to do between cutting and embossing is:
  1. Remove the top C plate
  2. Slide a cardstock shim under the die/paper
  3. Add a rubber mat above the die
  4. Top with a B plate
If you compare to the following revised stack, you will understand just how lazy that I am as I only save two tiny steps!

This stack keeps the C plate undamaged as the cutting part of the die goes into the top "B" plate

B plate
Die (with cutting side up)
C plate
A plate (the big white one)

The stack to emboss the edges is the same as previously shown:

B plate
Rubber mat
Die (with cutting side up)
Three cardstock shims
B plate
A plate (the big white one)

So, the steps to take between cutting and embossing are:
  1. Remove everything above the base "A" plate
  2. Put "B" plate on the base "A" plate
  3. Add cardstock shims
  4. Add the previously cut die/paper
  5. Add rubber
  6. Top with "B" plate everbody clear as mud??

The reality is that although these stacks can be totally confusing, there is a simple way to look at it.
  • To do thicker things (embossing folders, cuttlebug dies, sizzlits or the nestabilities embossing stack using a rubber mat) squish between the two "B's"
  • To do thinner things (thin metal dies like nesties, Papertrey, My Favorite things, etc.) squish between the thicker "C" and a "B"
  • To do really thick things (Sizzix dies) get rid of that big "A" and squish between two "B"
  • Remember two things (1) the plate on the cutting side will get marked up and (2) you may need to add 1 to 3 cardstock shims to get a good emboss or cut.

Thanks to Lavonne for pointing this out.  I really can relate.  If you check out my pictures from that post - I was using a brand new "C" plate to take the pictures and I have to admit, when it came out the other end with a mark on it - I was sad that it wasn't shiny and new any more!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Focus: Nestabilities Embossing Part II

Last week, the Friday Focus included step by step instructions on cutting and embossing nestabilities using a Cuttlebug.  This week, I am adding a couple more fun ways to emboss and I have a step-by-step picture tutorial on using a Big Shot to cut and emboss nestabilities.

Embossing Metals

Spellbinders (the company that makes Nestabilites) has a line of embossable metals!  They are absolutely lovely.  Besides this pack of precious metals, there is also a pack of jewel tone metals.  Each piece has a silver core, so if you want to get really fancy, you can lightly sand the finished product to get an antiqued look.  (Local ladies: Hobby Lobby carries these!!  Can you say "coupon"?)

The process to cut and emboss these metals is no different than embossing cardstock.  See last week's post for step-by-step instructions using the Cuttlebug.  Keep reading for instructions on the Big Shot.


Impressabilities are Spellbinder's embossing folders (but they aren't folders).  They are very thin metal dies - so thin that you want to be very careful with them or they will break.  They are fairly reasonably priced (at my local Hobby Lobby, they are $6.99 but often go on sale at 40% off).  I tell you this because the official Spellbinders website talks about how easy these are to cut up - they suggest buying two of each, one to keep whole and one to cut up. For example, you can cut a small portion off and use them in a card corner or just as an accent.  I left mine whole as I wanted to do the entire card front.  They are VERY nice in that they do cover the entire card front as compared to your average Cuttlebug folder which only covers a 4 x 5 1/4" piece.

In general, you can follow the embossing part of the instructions that I have provided.  Cuttlebug is here; Big Shot is below.  But you need to do one extra step to get a good impression - spritz your paper with water before embossing.

I use a fine mist spritzer that I
got at a craft store.  You can spritz
fairly heavily - I actually rubbed some
water droplets off when I was done.
You can also wet the front with a
sponge - wait a few minutes to let
the water soak into the fibers.
Then follow the embossing instructions.

Here is the difference.  The left
side was NOT spritzed with water;
the right side was spritzed.

You can also use these impressabilities to accomplish the letter-press look.  Simply ink the impressability with a pigment ink and then emboss as directed!

BIG SHOT Instructions:

My Big Shot is not my go-to machine.  It has nothing to do with quality because IBig Shots are defnitely more sturdy than Cuttlebugs.  But I have a very small corner in which I make cards - the Cuttlebug fits, the Big Shot doesn't.  But I did many questions as to how to accomplish the Nestabilities cutting and embossing with the Big Shot, so here goes...

First, there are a number of options at many of these steps depending on (1) whether you have an older or newer Big Shot and (2) whether you have Spellbinders pads or Sizzix pads.  I have shown the options that I know about - but please remember, I am not a Big Shot expert.  I just know what works for me.


Lay your die face up on
a fully folded together Big
Shot Multipurpose Platform.

If you have an older machine in which
your platform does not have the
tabs, you will need a Wafer-Thin
Die Adaptor.  Then just place your
platform, then the adaptor, THEN
your die facing up.

Place cardstock on top of the die.

Then top with TWO cutting pads.
Roll it through your machine and
you will have a nice die cut.


Remove the top layers but
leave the die and the cut cardstock.

Top with your Spellbinders
tan embossing mat
If you have all Sizzix products, top
with the Sizzix rubber pad.

Top your mat (whether the tan or
black) with a Spellbinders spacer plate
If you have all Sizzix products, top
the mat (whether tan or black)
with a Wafer Thin Die Adapator.
This is a bit of a problem if you have
an older base platform, because then
you need this adaptor on your base
platform (see cutting) AND on top.

Top with one cutting pad
and squish it!

I hope that I have give you some fun ideas - always feel free to ask questions!  As I said, I am definitely NOT a Big Shot expert, but given I have all the parts and all the toys, I can always play until I find the answer!

With Love and Caring:
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Thanks for Caring
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Soft Suede, Creamy Caramel
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Rose Red, Vanilla, K&Co Life's Journey dsp
  • Accessories: Spellbinders Fancy Tags (They just came out with a Fancy Tags 2 and 3 that are absolutely stunning!  Check it out here).  Stampin' Up Oval Punch (oddly none of the Spellbinders ovals fit inside this tag??), Stampin' Up Artichoke seam binding, Martha Stewart border punch, misc copper brads
  • Challenges: Stampin' Royalty Sketch Challenge

Butterfly Celebrate:
  • Stamps: Papertrey Mat Stack 3, Butterfly Dreams
  • Inks: Papertrey New Leaf, Summer Sunrise, various copics on butterfly
  • Paper: Papertrey New Leaf, Summer Sunrise
  • Accessories: Papertrey Mat Stack 3 die, Butterfly die, Cuttlebug corner die, Spellbinders Impressabilities Flowers, misc gems colored with copics to match New Leaf
  • Challenges: Splitcoast Free4All: Aloha and Technostampers Sketch Challenge


Technostamper is the fun challenge that lets me link to the other participants on their blog.  Then you can see what others have done with the above sketch!

PTI February Blog Hop

Last month, for the first time, I played along with the monthly Papertrey blog hop and it was a wonderful experience.  So many people play along that you can put your project up and then spend the rest of the day visiting new blogs.  The participants are incredible - so many visitors leave comments that it is an incredible boost to one's blog mojo!  I immediately put this month's blog hop on my calendar!  And here it is...

The theme for this month is scallops - any kind, any way.  I have used tiered scallops like this in the past and love the look.  So earlier this week when I was putting up window treatments in my new craft room (!!!!!) I realized how cute a card could be with the same tied up "poufs"!

Then I had to decide on stamps - that turned out to be easy as my Papertrey order came in the mail yesterday and included these two little sets.  Both are so cute.  The sentiment comes from a mini set of three big sayings, the other two being "Make a Wish" and "Thanks So Much".  The set is labeled "#1" so I am hoping for more.  The stem and leaves comes from a mini set that also includes a couple of cute flowers and four sentiments.  I ended up not using the stamped flower because I thought I needed a little more dimension up there to balance the bows.

The colors were also easy.  I wanted to use Kraft and ANY color looks good with Kraft; in fact, I think most colors look brighter and richer against Kraft.  I have one plea if anybody official from PTI is reading this - Kraft ribbon and buttons???  What do you think??

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your blog hop.  I'm off now to refresh my cup of coffee and then enjoy my hopping time!

  • Stamps: Papertrey Flower Fusion #1, Think Big Favorites #1
  • Ink: Papertrey Dark Chocolate, New Leaf
  • Paper: Papertrey Kraft, Berry Sorbet, Lemon Tart, New Leaf, 2008 Bitty Dot Basics dsp
  • Accessories: Papertrey Large Scalloped Border Die and Beautiful Blooms II #3 Die Collection, Lemon Tart button, Cuttlebug embossing folder, misc grosgrain

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sympathy in Scarlet and Gray

This is my second post today so keep scrolling down!

Papertrey's Make It Monday challenge is to use scor-tape to add glitter strips.  My first instinct was to go bright and cheerful and super-glittery, but our church card racks desperately need sympathy cards, so I decided to challenge myself.  The glitter is subtle, but it IS there running along the Smokey Shadow panel just before the scallops.  I add a little bit more to the center of the flower to bring it all together.

  • Stamps: Papertrey In Bloom, Out on the Limb (sentiment)
  • Ink: Papertrey Ripe Avocado, black
  • Paper: Papertrey Smokey Shadow, Scarlet Jewel, Ripe Avocado
  • Accessories: Papertrey Mat Stack 1 die and Large Scallop Border die, Cuttlebug dot folder, 1/8" scor-tape, Stampendous Gunmetal Glitter
  • Challenges: Papertrey Make It Monday ,  Splitcoast Ways To Use It: use gray as a neutral, Pals Paper Arts: scallops


Aren't acronyms utterly confusing??

It took me the longest time to understand CAS (Clean And Simple) vs. CASE (Copy And Share with Everyone).

The acryonyms in my title are simply the challenges I played along with for this card!

D2D is Designed2Delight digital stamps.  Their blog, Delightful Inspirations, hosts a weekly deal that if you use their stamp of the week, you get the next week's free!  So...if you buy the first one, but keep making weekly cards, you get an infinite(?) supply of digital stamps.  The deal for the above stamps ends at midnight EST tonight (yes, I waited until the last minute!)

FTL is the Fall To Layout from the clean&simple blog.  This is a great source of inspiration, particularly if you tend towards fairly simple cards as I do.  Plus you can download all of their layouts and keep an ongoing file of them!  Here is this week's:

PPA is Pals Paper Arts.  This blog includes a wide variety of weekly challenges - this week's is to use scallops.  Let me tell you - if all but one of my punches were to suddenly disappear - the circles, the tags, the butteflies - just let me keep my Stampin' Up Scallop Border Punch!!!  So this was a very easy challenge!

ACT70 is the Curtain Call Color Challenge from Stacey's Stamping Stage.  Their color challenges are wonderful - nothing too odd - and they always include a photo from which they came up with the colors.  Here is this week's:

  • Stamps: Designed2Delight Appliqued Tree, the {stamps}of life banners4all (sentiment)
  • Ink: copics
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Pear Pizzazz CS and dsp, Tangerine Tango CS, SU Haiku dsp
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Tempting Turquoise grosgrain, Oval and Scalloped Oval Nesties, McGill tag punch, Stampin' Up Scallop Border Punch

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Happy Dance Time

I am doing a serious happy dance right now.  Right after I put up my last post (yes, there are two today so keep scrolling down), I checked my e-mail and saw a notice from Our Daily Bread to check out their blog post.  I am thrilled!!

If you are clicking over from ODB's blog, I apologize for not having more ODB cards on my blog.  First, my blog is only a few months old so I just don't have that many posts!  Second, I find that I often completely CASE the spectacular cards from their own designers - and I typically don't post total CASEs!

But I love Our Daily Bread stamps - they are totally beautiful and so very meaningful.  Given that I am part of a church cardmaking ministry, ODB stamps are perfect! (For details click on the the Card Ministry category on list on the right side of the page).  So, over time, you will definitely find ODB as part of my blog!!

Thanks again to the folks at Our Daily Bread - for choosing my card, but more importantly, for being an important part of Christian cardmaking.


St. Paddy's Cards!

Because I design cards for a group of cardmakers who make them for our church card racks, I am always ahead of the curve with holidays!  Today, I worked on St. Patrick's Day.  Here's my favorite of the batch!

PJ Bear is so darn cute.  And this set from The Cat's Pajamas has a plain bear along with every accessory you would need for every holiday and for every occasion.

You might ask "Why do you have frogs on a St. Patrick's Day card?" The inside includes this fantastic sentiment from Stamp Oasis.  RubberNecker now sells Stamp Oasis stamps but I don't see this particular stamp anywhere.

May the light
always find you
on a dreary day.
When you need to be home
may you find your way.
May you always have courage
to take a chance,
And never find frogs in your

Now do the frogs make sense???

Since I already had a cute card and a funny card, I wanted just a basic card that could be sent to anyone.  It's very simple on the front, but it has this nice sentiment from Custer's Last Stamp (I got it on Addicted to Rubber Stamps) on the inside:

May your blessings
outnumber the
shamrocks that grow
and may trouble avoid
you wherever you go.

Check out the embossed edges on the little squares.  I love how this extra step makes the card look so "finished".  I love it so much I did a whole post on it!

St. Paddy Bear
  • Stamps: Cat's Pajamas A Beary Good Year
  • Ink: Memento Black and copics
  • Paper: Papertrey New Leaf, Pinefeather, Dotty Biscotti dsp
  • Accessories: Martha Stewart Glitter Glue, Stampin' Word Window and Modern Label Punches, Nestabilities circles and scalloped circles, Crystal Stickers Gold Glitter Domes, misc ribbon

Frogs in Your Underpants
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Unfroggetable
  • Ink: Memento Black, copics
  • Paper: Papertrey New Leaf, unknown light green, Reminisce Green Day dsp
  • Accessories: Papertrey New Leaf buttons, Stampin' Up Scallop Border Punch, circle punches

Shamrock Blessings
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Every Little Bit
  • Inks: Stampin' Up Forest Foliage (old), Garden Green, Wild Wasabi, Certainly Celery
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Forest Foliage (old), Garden Green, Wild Wasabi, Certainly Celery, Certainly Celery dsp
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Scallop Border Punch, misc green ribbon, Stampin' Up gems colored with Copics to match the four greens
  • Challenges: SplitCoast Sketch Challenge

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Build a Blossom with Colors

Today's Splitcoast Color Challenge was to use Always Artichoke, Perfect Plum, and Rose Red.  I paired it with the this week's Stamping 411 Sketch Challenge.

Using the punch for the flower can be a lot of work but I think the results are worth it.  I had played with this set a few weeks ago on this post and included some photos of tips and techniques. 

The ribbon across the top gave me some problems.  Originally it was just flat across the card (I should have taken a picture) - and it looked like I had just plopped it there to comply with the sketch challenge (which, of course, I had!).  I wanted to make it look intentional so I simply tied a few pieces of floss to gather it up - a simple step but gives it a different look.

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Well-Scripted
  • Inks:  Stampin' Up Perfect Plum, Always Artichoke
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Perfect Plum, Always Artichoke, Rose Red, Whisper White
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Embossing Folder, Blossom Punch, Rose Red Seam Binding, Cuttlebug tag die (the rose layer is handcut), American Crafts white glitter brad, Stickles Star Dust
  • Challenges: Splitcoast Color Challenge and  Stamping 411 Sketch Challenge.

I want to send out prayers for my blogging buddies
in New Zealand and to all who are living in the area
or know those who live there.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A CAS Kind of Day and an Award!

CAS - which is Clean and Simple - can be a total misnomer.  CAS can be hard!  Just because you typically only use a stamp or two, and you don't have many layers or embellishments, the card is NOT simpler to create.  In fact, trying to arrange those one or two stamps in an interesting way can be very, very difficult.

This is my eleventh attempt at this card for Susan's One Layer Wednesday Challenge which was to do a Christmas card with green and red on white or cream:

I tried it horizontally then vertically.  I tried it with the snowflake partially off the panel, then totally centered.  I tried a variety of embossed snowflakes, snowflake edges and snowflake flurries all over.  I ended up plopping everything in the center - and then added few embossed lines to give it a frame!  Final result - simple.  Process of creation - long.

Now, for a total change of season...

I love it when two challenges come together for me.  Less is More calls for a card with a spring theme. The SplitCoast CAS challenge is to create your own background.  I have this new-to-me stamp from Rubbernecker and I immediately saw a spring sunrise:

This really was an easy card.  I simply stamped the garden image, then surrounded it with post-its before I sponged the sunrise colors.
FYI: Less is More is an amazing new challenge blog.  It is only the third challenge on this blog and they are already getting hundreds of entrants.  Part of the fun of this blog is their handy tips and hints each week - the first hint - use Legos to make a stamp positioner!?!  How creative!

Recipes for the cards are at the end of this post.


I want to thank ALL of you who have been reading my blog and I want to apologize for not getting back to all of you who have commented.  Please remember that I am new at all of this.  I always read the comments then I move on to my next card and a new post.  But I just discovered that I can view all of the comments in one place and suddenly I realized that I have new blog friends who have been commenting on my blog since the beginning.

So I have had a wonderful day, viewing all of these wonderful blogs - - - and then checking out the blogs that those bloggers liked - - - and on and on - - - and I have so many new favorites!

I also have the great honor of being given the Stylish blogger award from Tamie at Paper Infusions and More.  Tamie has absolutely darling cards using fairies and little girls with ice cream cones and country kids having their first kiss - mixed in with some truly beautiful florals!  Be sure to check her out.

Here it is!

I have four things that I have to do:

1.Thank the person/persons that shared this award with me and link it back to their blog/blogs.
2.Share eight things about myself.
3.Pass this award onto eight other bloggers that I have recently discovered.
4.Leave a comment so they can pass along the recognition!

Thank you Tamie!!  You made my day! (Be sure to visit Tamie at her link above!)

Eight things about myself:

1. I met my husband downhill skiing - over 20 years ago.  Neither of us have downhill skiied since.

2. But we do many other forms of skiing - telemarking, backcountry, cross-country.  We are just too cheap and our knees are too old to spend any time on the downhill slopes!

3. We have a small condo in Frisco, CO - that's right in the middle of all of the major ski areas!  (But...we don't ski?!?)

4. My husband and son #2 (of 2) and his friends are at our condo this weekend - that's why I have all of this wonderful me-time to catch up on all of these blogs.

5. I would like to be at our condo but I play in our church's handbell choir (in fact if you check back in a few days, I will have a YouTube video of a performance from this morning!)

6. I have a fresh glass of red wine with me as I type - because, you know, it's good for you - and I don't have my family to take care of!

7. Actually, son #1 of 2 is home this weekend - but he's a teenager so last night, he was at a friend's house, today he has been occupied with old episodes of "24" and tomorrow he rehearses for the school musical (on President's Day when he SHOULD be off school).  He is an avid (and a very talented) saxophonist.

8. I should mention that son #2 is a brand new trumpeter!

Eight Great Bloggers:

Enough about me - let's move on to the best part of this award - my chance to share other blogs with you.  Isn't this just perfect timing?  I have spent the weekend finding new blogs and NOW I have an award that requires me to tell you about them!

Stampinglee Yours by Lee Conrey
     Lee's cards are exactly the style that I love.  Not cluttered, but full of unique and special touches!

Smudges in Time by Melissa
     Melissa has a quote - "Creative clutter is better than idle neatness" but her cards are anything but     cluttered.  They are wonderfully clean, simple and gorgeous!

A New Year... by Carole
     Check out her 2/13 post using the SU Bliss set.  A card with lots of white space and an amazing splash of golds and oranges.  She has SO many stunning cards!
Stamp4Fun by Selene
     Amongst all of her gorgeous cards, she had a sympathy card on 2/11 that I already CASEd and used.  Thanks Selene!!

     Kerin really doesn't need another award - she's already been "discovered" and is part of a number of stamping teams.  But I want each of my readers to find her.  (Plus, I love her dearly as she donated a large box of cards to our church card ministry!)

     Susan plays many of the same clean and simple challenges that I play - and she is a stand out in each of them!

Deborah's Gems by Deborah
     Deborah has an amazing variety of fun cards!  Just in the last few weeks she has posted a little quilted house, a very cheerful card using just patterned circles, and a submarine?!?  I am particularly embarassed by never having been to her blog before this weekend as she has very faithfully commented on my blog.  Thank you much Deborah!

H2 Designs by Helen
     Another cardmaker who can handle a wide variety of cards - from a big orange 18, to a skunk, to a sweet little tic-tac-toe game!  And another faithful commenter!

I hope all of my readers check out these blogs - they are fantastic!


Blessings of the Season
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Snowflakes, Stampassions sentiment (This is the first stamp in the Christmas section of my notebook of stamp images, which makes it at least a decade old!)
  • Ink: Kaleidacolor Fruitcake, Stampin' Up Forest Foliage (both long retired)
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Whisper White
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Gem

This Is the Day!
  • Stamps: Rubbernecker Wild Garden Border 1, Our Craft Lounge Prayers and Blessings sentiment
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Concord Crush, Yoyo Yellow, Pink Pirouette, Pretty in Pink, Soft Sky, Baja Breeze
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Elegant Eggplant, PaperTrey Lemon Tart
  • Accessories: Nesties Circle and Scalloped Circle, Pearl Shimmer Spritz over entire card

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Perhaps they are not stars...

Perhaps they are not stars,
but rather openings in heaven
where the love of our lost ones pours
through and shines down
upon us to let us know they are happy.

I have had the idea for this card in my head all week since Papertrey Ink's Make It Monday Challenge was Vellum Sentiment Strips.  But I envisioned a green card with a tree.  Then today's SplitCoast Stampers Inspiration Challenge was directing us to a website for Wall Art called Walltat.  Right on the home page is a branch on a dusky gray wall and I immediately thought about an evening card.  Then, I remembered the sentiment above which is included in a PaperTrey set called With Sympathy - so I added a few small gems for stars.  It all came together! 

(Please remember that I make most of my cards for my church, so although this is a sympathy card, I can get excited when it is coming together because at the moment it isn't intended for a specific person.)

  • Stamps: Papertrey Out On a Limb (branch and flowers), Through the Trees (sentiment on front), With Sympathy (sentiment on inside)
  • Ink: Dark blue to coordinate with Papertrey's Enchanted Evening CS, PaperTrey White Snow
  • Paper: Papertrey Enchanged Evening, vellum cardstock
  • Accessories: Cuttlebug Embossing Plus (vellum strip), Martha Stewart border punch, misc gems, Marvy Uchida button punch (my buttons from PTI's recent release aren't here yet!), Shimmer Spritz on the button

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Focus: Nestabilities Embossing

At a recent stamping event, we had two separate experiences in which one stamper looked at another in total amazement that they didn't know how to do something that seemed "basic".  The lesson learned was that there are so many techniques and products out there, we shouldn't assume that a stamper knows everything!  So I am taking that to heart and today's Friday Focus is simply how to add the embossed edge to a Nestabilities die cut (and a few fun things to do with that).

I wasn't planning on defining "Nestabilities" but you can check out the website for Spellbinders.  Nestabilities is one of their product lines.  It's a thin metal die to cut shapes and each package comes with multiple "nested" sizes!  I buy mine from (if you sign up you get monthly 40% off coupons) and our local Hobby Lobby carries them - often on sale!)

Edited to Add: Part II to this post is now ready.  It includes photos of how to do all of this using the Big Shot and will include two other Spellbinders products - impressabilities and metal sheets.


Here's the first card, with a basic shape:

Do you see that slight ridge around the white layer?  I think that it gives it such a finished look.  Here's the panel without the ridge:

It loses all dimension.

So just one extra step with your Nestabilities can make a huge difference.

Here's how you work with your Nesties on a Cuttlebug.  Big Shot instructions can be found here.

A plate on bottom, then B plate.
I add my nestie with the ridge
facing up.  (That little ridge is
actually what cuts.)

Add your paper on the die.

Put the C plate on top and roll
it on through!

Edited To Add: A very valid concern has been pointed out to me - this stack causes the die to cut into the "C" plate and "C" plates are more difficult to find when you eventually have to replace it.  A full discussion of the pros/cons and a revised stack to avoid this problem can be found here.

Leave the pieces together to add the
embossed edge.  We are going to
be using a rubber pad*.  It
will be placed on the back-side
of the die as you are looking at it
in this picture.  When we squish it
through the Cuttlebug, it pushes the
paper into the open part of the
die and gives a raised ridge.

Leave the A & B plates that were there
for step 1.  Slide three cardstock shims.
under the die/paper (I keep three glued
together for this purpose.)

Place the rubber mat* on top.

Then a "B" plate (replacing the
"C" plate in the original stack).
Roll it through and
you are done!
*I have always used the "embossing pads" sold by Spellbinders.  You can find them any place you buy your dies.  Others have used some sort of plumbing mat from the local hardware store - but it just seems like it would take time to find the right thickness when the actual pad is reasonably priced and easy to find.

Let me tell you how much I love the embossed edges.  I resisted for years buying the rectangle and square nesties because, after all, I can easily cut those shapes with a paper cutter.  But I recently decided that wanted that embossed look - even on basic squares.  Check out this card - there is a lot going on - but the small sentiment is embossed and I think that little touch makes it stand out from all of the busy-ness.


So let's take the embossing one more step and make a frame:

In this case just cut the inner shape and emboss the edges.  Then line up the outer die, keeping it on the same side of the paper as the first die.  Cut it and emboss it and you have a great frame!


Another simple technique is to follow the steps to cut and emboss your shape and then to sponge with the frame still on:

This leaves a nice white line around the outside of your panel as in this card.

Check out the inside of this card!  I am quite proud of it because I never focus on decorating my insides!

There are a number of other things to do with Nestabilities and embossing pads, but I am going to save those for a Part II!!

B is for Birthday:
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Party Hearty
  • Ink: SU Not Quite Navy, Baja Breeze, Cherry Cobbler and Tangerine markers
  • Paper: SU Not Quite Navy, Baja Breeze, Cherry Cobbler
  • Accessories: SU Tangerine ribbon, EK Success Border Punch, Cuttlebug dots, Nestabilities Labels Three
  • Challenges: colourQ Color Challenge  and i{heart}2stamp sketch challenge

God's Love Endures:

Little Baby Blue Elephant:
  • Stamps: There She Goes Polka Dot Pals
  • Inks: SU Bashful Blue
  • Paper: white
  • Accessories: SU Bashful Blue gingham, Nestabilities square and scalloped square, Cuttlebug dots, misc safety pin

We Are Never Alone:
  • Stamps: SU Have a Seat, Close To My Heart Because of You
  • Inks: SU Chocolate Chip, Certainly Celery
  • Paper: SU Melon Mambo, Certainly Celery, Chocolate Chip
  • Accessories: Tim Holtz Embossing Folder, misc pearls and crocheted ribbon, SU Scalloped Border Punch, Nestabilities ovals 
  • Challenges: Utah Divas International Color Challenge and Pals Paper Arts Sketch Challenge