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.)

What’s in my On-the-Go Craft Tool Box?

I’ve just spent the last three days at the Inky Fingers Crafting Weekend retreat. My 16 year-old daughter came with me and we loaded up the back of my Forester with all manner of paper-crafting supplies. When I say loaded up, what I’m really saying is stuffed to the brim. We had to get a baggage cart to bring it all in to the hotel.

Not all crafting events require a trunkful of supplies though. That’s why I’ve created my own On-the-go Tool Box that packs tightly into one of Stampin’ Up’s wide stamp storage cases to use when I attend smaller workshops where most everything else is supplied.

Here’s a picture of what is stored in my tool box:

  1. Acrylic stamp block
    I prefer Stampin’ Up’s Clear Block D. It measures 2-7/8″ x 2-11/16″ and doesn’t take up a lot of room in the case. I’ve found that it fits most stamps I use. I also love how the block is grooved on the sides for easy gripping.
  2. Double-sided Tape
    Most people prefer a certain type of adhesive: glue, tape runner, glue dots. Some people love tape runners and are very adept at using them. Tape runners will also fit perfectly in your tool box. I, however, use double-sided Scotch tape, mainly because I’m about as coordinated at using a tape runner as I am at tying a bow (you won’t see a lot of bows on the cards I design). Stampin’ Up recently introduced two new tape runners, Stamp ‘n Seal and Stamp ‘n Seal+. I’ve used these a few times now with success, meaning that I didn’t end up with sticky fingers and a roll of unwound tape that I can’t roll back into the applicator. I have to use up my supply of Scotch tape before I fully commit to them though.
  3. Glue Dots
    Glue dots are great for sticking down tiny things. Paper Pumpkin kits come with more than enough glue dots to finish the projects you make so I have oodles of sheets of them. You can also order a roll of glue dots from Stampin’ Up or find other versions at your local craft store.
  4. Stampin’ Dimensionals and Mini Stampin’ Dimensionals, also known as “foam popper upper thingies”
    The purpose of Dimensionals is to do exactly what is in the name. They give your projects dimension by lifting elements off the card base. You can also find adhesive foam squares at your local craft store.
  5. Paper Scissor Snips
    The purpose of scissor snips it to precisely cut out small things. Mine are Cutterbees, but Stampin’ Up also sells a nice pair.
  6. Bone Folder
    Bone folders smooth down the creases in your cards; allowing them to lie flatter. In my experience, most bone folders are created equal. You can buy a a bone folder from Stampin’ Up and most local craft stores also sell them.
  7. Pen & Sharp Pencil
  8. Take Your Pick tool
    The Take Your Pick tool is a paper-crafter’s dream multi-tool. One end has tacky putty end that easily picks up sequins, paper accents, and other small objects. The other end has 2 changeable, double-ended tips; one with a with paper piercer and mini spatula and the other with small stylus, and large stylus.
  9. Water color painting pen
    A water color painting pen holds water for easy water color painting. Most of the time when I’m at a workshop where water coloring is required the host usually provides one of these. It is however nice to have your own so you don’t have to wait your turn to use the one provided. Stampin’ Up sells a set of three of these babies with varying brush thicknesses.
  10. Tweezers!
    I love these reverse-action tweezers that I found on Amazon! Once you grab something, they hold on to the item even when you stop squeezing.

September 2020 Paper Pumpkin: Hello Pumpkin

Some people just aren’t into Halloween and every September Stampin’ Up puts out a Halloween Paper Pumpkin kit that usually contains bags or boxes of some kind. This kind of kit is useful to a lot of people. It’s useful to me, but I know of plenty of stampers who don’t participate in Halloween for one reason or another and have no need of a Halloween-themed stamp set. I think that his year, Stampin’ Up released a well-balanced kit that is useful to Halloween and non-Halloween participants alike.

The Hello Pumpkin kit contains ample supplies to create and decorate twenty of the cracker boxes pictured above. The great thing about the boxes is that they’re double-sided, white and Pumpkin Pie striped for Halloween and a Cajun Craze gingham pattern for an autumnal feel. It also includes a Cajun Craze Stampin’ Spot and the stamp set pictured below:

What’s great about this stamp set is that the images can be adjusted from a general fall season look to Halloween with the simple addition of the Jack-o-Lantern faces.

The cracker boxes are super cute, but this blog post is all about showcasing alternative ideas, which is what we do at my monthly Paper Pumpkin workshop. My regular attendees weren’t keen on the Halloween theme, so I stuck with the autumnal concept. I found a plethora of ideas on the internet and many of them incorporated wreaths, so that’s what I started with. I gave the ladies these two card samples to work from.

You can’t really tell from the pictures, but the flowers are popped up on Stampin’ Dimensionals, which gives the wreath two levels of depth.

Of course, my ladies took creative license and made these cards:

Liz’s card
Kathy’s card

The final card we made was CASEd from Denise Kepple Garrison over at Her card was just too cute not to replicate in its entirety.

Coming soon…

October’s Paper Pumpkin kit is called Joy to the World. It will contain supplies to make eight greeting cards (four each of two designs). The subscription period for this kit ends October 10th and kits start getting mailed out on the 15th. Subscribe now and then register for my monthly Paper Pumpkin workshop on October 24th and get alternate ideas for using the kit’s supplies.

Project supplies:

September 2020 Paper Pumpkin kit, Hello Pumpkin

Product List

July 2020 Paper Pumpkin: Summer Nights

I grew up in a part of the country that didn’t have lightning bugs, so it wasn’t until I was an adult visiting my in-laws in North Carolina one summer that I got to see them up close and in person. The the lightning bugs were as magical to watch in person as seeing them on tv and reading about them in books. So, when the Summer Nights kit arrived I immediately remembered spending a quite evening at my husband’s Grandmother’s house in North Carolina, sitting on a wood porch swing, and having good conversation while watching my young daughter experience the magic of watching lightning bugs for the first time. And, quite frankly, watching lightning bugs is a great distraction from the sweltering heat and humidity of the South.

Summer Nights features images of lanterns, fireworks and lightning bugs (or fireflies depending on where you’re from).

July 2020 Paper Pumpkin Summer Nights stamp set

In addition to a Night of Navy mini ink pad, the kit also contains all the supplies to make the nine cards and six paper bag lanterns featured in the above image. Stampin’ Up also released an add-on kit containing more card bases and coordinating envelopes.

I have two alternate card ideas to share. These cards are made with the card bases from the add-on kit because I got so excited and used up the ones in the kit before I started creating alternatives.

On this first card, I dug out April’s Paper Pumpkin kit, My Wonderful Family, and used the negative from the tree punch out as a stencil to create the branch coming across the sky.

This second card, doesn’t use the stamp set at all. Even though it’s still summer, I have Christmas cards on the brain, so I dug out my Merry Moose stamp set and created this peaceful holiday card.

I didn’t use the stamp set from the Summer Nights kit on this card, but this goes to show that you can always use the kit supplies and combine them with other items you have in your crafting stash.

That’s it for this month. I already have the August kit sitting at my table ready to play with.

At the end of the month, I’ll be holding my first in-person workshop since we went into quarantine back in March. You can find the Meetup details here.

I wouldn’t bleach my hair, but bleaching paper is awesome

First of all, I’m happy to announce that Stampin’ Up’s new Annual catalog is live! Have a look.

Today I’m going to feature two of the catalog’s new sets, Celebrate Sunflowers and Forever Fern.

I’ve always thought sunflowers were awesome and have wanted to grow some that are taller than me, which probably wouldn’t be that difficult. Unfortunately, I can’t even keep an aloe vera plant alive. Someday….. (sigh).

Recently I’ve been experimenting with painting bleach on paper with an aqua painter and I love the results. Painting with bleach is as easy as it sounds. I like to put the bleach in an aqua painter so I can keep it contained and it’s easier to control, but I suppose you could just use a regular paint brush and a small cup of bleach. Before you start, test the bleach on a small piece of card stock to see what the color fades to after the bleach does its work. It’s not always what you would expect. Also, you have to stamp with Staz-On ink; any other type of ink will fade along with your paper.

For this card, I stamped the leaves on a piece of Old Olive cardstock. The card base is one of the fresh new In-Colors, Bumble Bee. The tag is made from another product called the Lovely Labels Pick a Punch, which is one of my favorite new things because you can use it to make custom-sized labels in two different styles. The Celebrate Sunshine stamp set also has a companion die set called Sunshine Dies, which is what I used to cut the sunflower and leaves with.

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The next card I made uses the Forever Fern stamp set. I have some ferns growing beneath my deck and I haven’t killed them yet, mostly because they pretty much don’t need any help from me.

I stamped the leaves on a Just Jade (another new In Color) piece of cardstock for the background paper and applied bleach to the leaves, which surprisingly turned them light turquoise blue. I used the dies from the Forever Flourishing companion die set to cut out the black leaves, which I layered on top of the background piece.

Product List