March 2021 Paper Pumpkin: Here’s To You

My April Paper Pumpkin kit is arriving to day and I’m so behind on blog posting that I’m just now writing about the March 2020 kit, Here’s to You. This kit celebrates life’s journeys, milestones, and accomplishments with stamps and paper that evoke the freedom and openness of the being outdoors. The kit contains all the supplies to make the cards pictured above, a Calypso Coral mini ink pad, and the photopolymer stamp set pictured below:

After assembling the cards per instructions, I decided that the images are great for a masculine card. However, the tones of Calypso Coral were not. The landscape pictures got me thinking thinking about the Polaroids my grandparents would take when they were on trips (I really wanted a Polaroid Camera for myself). I was inspired to extract the mountain scene from the pale peach card base and mount it to a piece of paper to look like a Polaroid picture. I wanted to make the card base more masculine. Any time I make a card with wood grain, be it from a stamp, designer series paper, or from an embossing folder, my husband takes notice. He says it looks like wood paneling and not in a bad ’70s way. So, I pulled out my In Good Taste designer Series paper and cut a background from one of the wood grain pieces and mounted it on a Crumb Cake card base. Here’s my card:

I also made a similar version of the card that didn’t require any additional supplies beyond what the Paper Pumpkin kit included. I cut 3″ off the bottom of the flowery envelope liner and mounted it to the Pretty Peacock card base. You can still use adhere the top of the envelope liner to the inside of your envelope. For the white card base for the picture, I just flipped over one of the scraps from the card from which I cut the mountain and sun scene.

Tune in soon for my post on the April 2021 Paper Pumpkin kit, So Cool.

Also, sign up for the next kit, Batter Up by May 10th.

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.

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.

December 2020 Paper Pumpkin: Beary Comforting

Happy New Year! For my first blog post of 2021 I’m featuring the December 2020 Paper Pumpkin kit called Beary Comforting, an all-inclusive paper-crafting subscription box from Stampin’ Up. This kit contains all the supplies you need to create twelve cards with coordinating envelopes. It also includes a Rich Razzleberry Stampin’ Spot and a photopolymer stamp set with the images pictured below.

The fun thing about this kit is that the animals were designed to be holding items. In addition to the single koala bears, the kit includes cutouts of a zany raccoon. You have your choice of several items for the animals to hold–a cupcake, a gift, a heart, and a bouquet of flowers. Although the cards look great in their own right, I wanted to add a little extra embellishment and I found that the Gold Glitter Enamel Dots and the 1/4″ Gold Shimmer Ribbon were perfectly suited to the job. My favorite modification to the kit was cutting the bow off the top of the gift cutout, flipped it over, added a tiny square of Kleenex and made it into a box of tissues for get well soon cards.

I always like to feature at least one card that doesn’t include any elements from the kit other than the stamp set. I call it my “stamps only” card. I copied an idea from another Stampin’ Up demonstrator, April Jensen, to create the the patterned panel on the left. The panel on the left is from the Oh So Hombre designer series paper featured in the upcoming Sale-a-Bration catalog, which will go live on January 4th. The picture doesn’t show it well, but the Rich Razzleberry paper behind the koala bear is embossed with the Greenery Embossing Folder so there’s some raised foliage behind the bear.

Product List

If you send out cards for Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, other celebrations of love the January 2021 kit, Sending Hearts is for you. The kit makes eight cards and comes with oodles of heart-shaped elements and paper pieces in red and pink. For those who share treats at Valentines Day, an add-on containing 20 tiny, printed boxes and 24 die-cut, heart-shelled snails and sentiment labels is also available to Paper Pumpkin subscribers beginning on January 1st. Subscribe to Paper Pumpkin by January 10th to get this box.

Sucker for Snowflakes: Blues Edition

That’s right, I’m a sucker for a good snowflake stamp set. Every year, I tell myself not to buy another one because I have so many. Then I go and get another one anyway. I’ve already vowed to have more control next year, but this year, I couldn’t resist Stampin’ Up’s Snowflake Splendor Product Suite. The suite consists of:

Product List

One of my favorite things from this suite is the Winter Snow embossing folder. Not only does it work well with the other products in this suite, it elevates any other holiday card/project you might be designing.

I also love the “reverse” dies from the So Many Snowflakes set, and I’m featuring one of them in today’s post.

Sometimes when I design cards, I get hooked on one color. For this series of cards the color was Night of Navy.

This is the first card I made:

I embossed a piece of the blue watercolor-looking paper from the Snowflake Splendor designer series paper pack with the Winter Snow embossing folder. I just love the texture it provides! I used white glitter paper from my stash of retired products and placed it behind the snowflake cutout. The card was fairly simple and very satisfying to make.

My next two cards are meant to be opposites of one another. The insides of the cards use the “Thank You Snow Much” sentiment from Snowflake Wishes stamp set. We always think about sending cards before the holidays begin, which isn’t a bad thing per say. These cards however, are perfect thank you cards for the gifts and acts of kindness you receive over the holidays.

Side note: I used to leave the insides of my cards blank so that I could stamp a sentiment tailored to the recipient. However, I seem to pick cards for people at the last minute (I mean heading out the door kind of last minute) and never have the time to dig out an appropriate stamp for the interior of the card. Now, I stamp the sentiment beforehand, and if you’re the last-minute card selector that I am, I encourage you to do the same. I’ve made so many cards that I now seem to have one for most occasions and if I want to make the card truly personal, I can always handwrite it.

Additional supplies:


Purchase either the Snowflake Splendor Suite or the Snowflake Wishes Bundle (the stamp set and the dies) and I’ll send you a PDF tutorial on how to make the three cards in this blog post.

Happy Stamping! (That sounds cheesy, I know, but I’m going with it.)