February 2021 Paper Pumpkin: Bouquet of Hope

Deep confession: I don’t really like this kit. Not at all. It’s not the stamp set that bothers me, it’s the cards. They remind me too much of Mrs. Walowitz’s house on the Big Bang Theory with too many floral patterns clashing with one another. The fact that this kit doesn’t float my boat doesn’t make me angry and is only mildly disappointing. Stampin’ Up can’t please everyone all of the time.

The February Paper Pumpkin, Bouquet of Hope, includes all the supplies to create the cards pictured above, a Mossy Meadow mini inkpad, and the stamp set pictured below:

When I receive a kit that I’m not keen on, and after processing my the initial dislike, I bolster myself with two positive ideas. Sometimes a kit may not suit my tastes, but it there’s probably someone in my life who will find it perfectly perfect and enjoy the card as is. Secondly, I’ve been given an opportunity to practice creativity and transform the elements into something completely different than the original projects.

To begin this creative process I mentally deconstruct the cards and sort the supplies into two categories.

Things I liked:

  • Stamp set
  • Black Sequins
  • Mossy Meadow
  • Tags with black accent
  • Thinking of You sticker
  • Envelope lining

Things I didn’t like:

  • Rococo Rose
  • Gold Doily
  • Gold
  • Vellum (its tricky to attach without the glue showing through)
  • Too many flowers

The first thing I did was try and figure out what to do with that crazy gold doily. I put washi tape on the gold side of the doily and taped it to the center of a 5.25″ x 4″ sheet of white paper, thereby creating a mask. I sponged on Mossy Meadow ink, entirely covering both the doily and the white paper. I carefully removed the doily and set it aside for a different card.

Next, I added some 7/8″ black ribbon and used the sequins on the tag. By adding the thick ribbon and orienting the card in landscape vs. portrait direction, the tag doesn’t seem out of proportion from the doily.

Remember that Mossy Meadow doily I made earlier? I mounted it on the floral Merry Merlot card base. Instead of attaching the oval tag, I placed the large flower bouquet in the center, which reduced the busyness of the doily and was more appropriately portioned. I attached the I’ll always be here for you sentiment on the long horizontal tag to the bouquet, added some sequins, and voila, an improved card!

Vellum. I have a love/hate relationship with vellum. I love how it looks and I hate that it’s difficult to attach without adhesive showing through. In order to conceal the adhesive, you can only apply it behind parts of the card that are in front of the vellum. I felt that the card design in the kit didn’t have enough of these hidden areas to secure the vellum adequately. Instead, I adhered the Thinking of You sticker to a piece of patterned paper (reaped from one of the envelopes and one of the card bases), and mounted it in front of the vellum. On the Rococo Rose card, I flipped the vellum over so you saw white vines instead of gold. On the Just Jade card, I left the gold, because as much as I dislike gold color, I think it looks really cool paired with jade.

In my efforts to change the look of this kit, I ended up making nine different cards. Here’s a slideshow of the ones I didn’t feature in this post.

Monthly Paper Pumpkin Tip: Sacrifice Your Envelopes

If you’re not familiar with what a Paper Pumpkin is, it’s a monthly subscription for an all-inclusive paper crafting kit made by Stampin’ Up, and one of my favorite things to receive in the mail. You can learn more about Paper Pumpkin and subscribe for the kit here.

This month’s tip for extending your creative options with your kit is to sacrifice your envelopes. Sometimes the cards in the Paper Pumpkin kit come with matching envelopes. Don’t be afraid to flay those envelopes open and cut them into mini-sheets of coordinating designer paper. Here’s an example from the July 2020 Paper Pumpkin Summer Nights add-on kit, which consisted of extra card bases and coordinating envelopes.

First, I used my paper trimmer to cut along the edges of the envelope where the white from the envelope meets the pattern on the inside of the envelope.

Next, I splayed open the envelope and trimmed the white part from the bottom of the pattern.

Finally, I cut the envelope at the crease between the flap and envelope.

After that, I cut the pieces into strips, applied them to a Night of Navy card base, and created the card pictured below using the stamp set and pieces from the Summer Nights kit.

Here’s a small slideshow of other cards I have made using the interior designs on the envelopes as elements on the front of the card.

Of course, you’ll need a replacement envelope, so keep a package of extras on hand. See my Monthly Paper Pumpkin Tip: A Little Product Supplement Goes a Long Way for information about basic supplemental supplies.

January 2021 Paper Pumpkin: Sending Hearts

Paper Pumpkin is an all-inclusive monthly subscription paper-crafting from Stampin’ Up and I look forward to receiving it every month. The January 2021 kit is called Sending hearts. The kit included all the supplies needed to make the cards pictured above and the photopolymer stamp set pictured below. It also included a Poppy Parade mini ink pad. The coordinating colors are Poppy Parade, Basic Black, and Petal Pink.

Today I’m sharing a few alternative designs that I made using the kit and supplemental supplies.

On this card, I repeatedly stamped the XOXO stamp on a white card base. I also added a piece of Petal Pink vellum and metallic edge Petal Pink ribbon from my stash of retired paper products.

For this card, I stamped the top portion of a white card base with the Love stamp. The bottom red panel is cut from one of the card bases included in the kit. The scalloped black border is punched from a border punch I have, but you can just as easily piece together two of the scalloped black strips from the kit. I offset a square of white vellum behind the front panel to give it more emphasis.

This next card utilizes the cute little snail stamp. I used a technique to reverse the stamped image so the snails could be facing one another. The reverse technique is very simple. Stamp the image on a silicon crafting mat and place a piece of cardstock over it, lightly pressing down without wiggling the paper. If you don’t have a silicon crafting mat, a silicon baking mat can be used instead.

Happy stamping and Happy Valentines Day!

Monthly Paper Pumpkin Tip: A Little Product Supplement Goes a Long Way

I received a shipping notice yesterday that this month’s Paper Pumpkin kit is on its way to my house, so I have Paper Pumpkin on the brain. Because Paper Pumpkin is an all-inclusive monthly subscription paper-crafting kit perfect for beginning stampers, I’ve decided to start a series of posts giving tips and tricks on how to expand the possibilities of what you can create with your monthly kit.

This months tip: A Little Product Supplement Goes a Long Way

You don’t have to have a a storehouse of paper-crafting supplies to make alternative projects from your Paper Pumpkin. You can supplement with a few basic supplies and unlock a plethora of possibilities.

  • Purchase extra cardstock & envelopes
    When I say to purchase extra cardstock, I don’t mean that you have to have every color of the Stampin’ Up rainbow. Invest in a stash of Basic White and/or Very Vanilla cardstock. You can also buy thick versions of white and vanilla which are sturdier and make better card bases. A pack of Neutrals cardstock will further expand your creative opportunities. The Neutrals color family includes Basic Gray, Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Gray Granite, Merry Merlot, Mossy Meadow, Night of Navy, Sahara Sand, Smoky Slate, and Soft Suede, and you’ll receive two sheets of every color in the package.
  • Invest in a black ink pad
    For a beginning stamper, I recommend Memento Tuxedo Black. Memento is a great all-around basic ink. Also, it won’t smear when you color with alcohol-based markers such as Stampin’ Blends or Copics.
  • Acquire basic cutting tools
    Not only is a paper trimmer a must-have for a paper-crafter, it’s a great tool to have around the house anyway. My daughter frequently pulls it out for school projects and to trim photos. Paper snips give you the ability to precisely cut out small stamped images.
Paper Trimmer
$25.00
Paper Snips
$10.00

By investing in these basic supplies, you can “cannibalize” the materials in your Paper Pumpkin and create extra cards. Subscribe to my blog and check back at the end of the month to see what I create with the January 2021 kit, Sending Hearts. Happy stamping!

Subscribe today!

New Year, New Catalog: Ice Cream Corner

So far, one of the few good things about the onset of 2021 is the launch of Stampin’ Up’s January-June Mini Catalog, which features charming new stamp sets and products. I’ll be introducing some of these sets to you over the next few weeks. I’m starting with the Ice Cream Corner Product Suite. I know, it’s strange that it’s still January and I’m pulling out the ice cream set, but I live in the Pacific Northwest and we get a lot of rain and gray skies, especially during the winter, and the colors in this suite are bright and cheerful and everyone needs some bright and cheerful in life right now. Yes, at the moment I’m more inclined to want a cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream on top than a a popsicle or ice cream cone (especially since my husband keeps opening the window to his office because he wants fresh air), but it gives me something to look forward to.

One of the great things about the January-June Mini Catalog is that while some of the product suites are in the usual $100-150 rage, there are a few in the $50-$100 rage. This is one of them. Without further ado, I present to you Ice Cream Corner! The suite consists of the items pictured below. (Of course, you can always buy the items a la carte.)

Product List

The color palette for the Designer Series Paper is Terracotta Tile, Old Olive, Bermuda Bay, Blackberry Bliss, and Cinnamon Cider.

When I was a kid and my family would go to Baskin Robins for ice cream, I always fantasized about ordering a cone with at least three scoops of ice cream on top. Of course, my parents would never let me, which now that I’m a parent myself I completely understand why. This stamp set helped me fulfill my fantasy of having multiple scoops of ice cream without all the calories and sugar. Here are my cards:

Thanks for reading and I’ll be featuring other stamps sets and products from the new catalog over the course of the next few weeks.

In other news, the subscription period for the February Paper Pumpkin will be open from January 11-February 10. Click the picture below for more information and to subscribe. Then, check my blog toward the end of the month to see what creative ways you can make alternate projects from the kit.